Youth with Refugees Art Contest

Who can participate?

If you are between 10 and 30 years old, this art contest is your chance to use your creativity for a good cause. You don’t need to be a professional artist. Anyone can be creative in their own way. Young refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless and internally displaced people are most welcome to join the contest.

What is the reward?

Your best creations will be shared with our 10 million followers on our social media platforms and featured in a digital exhibition. Finalists will receive special prizes and goodies from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

This year, we also open a special competition: the #dreamball design. The five best designs will be turned into footballs stitched by refugees and host community members in Kenya, through an ethical ball manufacturing company: Alive and Kicking. The winning balls will be sold online to support sporting opportunities for refugees.

What is the theme?

The overall theme is “together through sport”. For all of us in this turbulent year, sport has proven itself vital to restore physical and mental health, inspire and energize us, and create solidarity as we team up to beat COVID-19. Sport also helps those who face the hardest possible times in their lives to rebuild their futures. You can use your talents to illustrate the power of sport to bring people together.

Here are some things to think about to inspire you:

  1. Sport brings hope. Sport is a great way to heal after going through difficult times. It helps with our mental health during the pandemic. It helps refugees recover from the experience of war and persecution. Learn more.
  2. Sport fosters inclusion. Sport is a great way to bring people together. When young refugees find safety in a new country, playing with others in the community helps them make friends and feel like they belong.
  3. Sport inspires. We all love to watch our favourite athletes. Did you know that there is a Refugee Olympic Team and a Refugee Paralympic Team? For the second time in history, they will compete during the Games in Tokyo this summer! Learn more.

How will your art be judged?

For the general competition, your art will be judged based on its creativity as well as how effectively it conveys its message. For the #dreamball design contest, abstract interpretations are welcome!

The best drawings and designs will be selected by a jury of refugees, artists and athletes.

How does it work?

You can draw by hand or on a computer or tablet. If you draw by hand, please scan or take a good quality picture of your drawing. We accept drawings in pdf, jpeg and png formats.

  • For the general competition, send us a drawing or a comic illustrating the theme, in the format of your choice.
  • For the #dreamball design competition, use the ball design template and draw within the two frames. If you cannot print or use the template, draw the pentagon and hexagon shapes by hand. Try to use a maximum of 3 different colors including white. Feel free to draw more abstract designs.

Make sure to submit your creation by clicking on the button below. You can also post your drawing on your own social media using “together #withrefugees” and #dreamball.

Submit your creation

When is the deadline?

The deadline is 25 June, but we encourage you to share your creations as early as possible, as we aim to publish submissions we love regularly on our social media accounts! For any questions, please contact [email protected] !

Who won the 2020 edition?

The theme of the 2020 edition was “everyone counts in the fight against COVID-19, including refugees.” We received 2,000 drawings from 100 countries. We awarded seven global winners – whose drawings were animated by Japanese Studio Speed Inc, five regional prizes, five prizes for cartoons and 20 special mentions. All winners received boxes of pencils from Caran d’Ache, our partner for the art contest.