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A glimpse into sport and development activities on World Refugee Day 2018

Copyrights: Flickr: Oxfam International

A glimpse into sport and development activities on World Refugee Day 2018

From football matches to new initiatives, individuals and organisations around the world show how we can stand #withrefugees.

20 June was World Refugee Day, which the UN describes as a day to  "commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees." 

People around the world have shown their support through fundraisers and community events. They also made their voices heard through social media, notably with the UNHCR's #withrefugees petition. 

In honour of the day, the sport and development community has launched a number of initiatives, projects and campaigns. Below are an overview of some of these activities. 

Publications, projects and events

Peace and Sport published this article by Marius Vizer, International Judo Federation President. He writes about Judo for Peace, an organisation which works to build peace in conflict zones, in large part through the values and life skills learnt through judo: "The examples of refugees or people in difficulty who have found their way back to success while practicing judo are numerous and reflect the impact our actions have on the field."

PLAY International launched its Incubation Project, co-funded by the European Commission and the Mairie de Paris. They have selected seven innovative projects using sport to support refugees. They have also planned a follow-up to see the action plans of each project. 

The International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) published the “Implementation Guide for Integration of Refugees Through Sport”, in collaboration with its partners, Erasmus+ and Nordplus. The document is intended to be a resource for grassroots sport organisations, and is available to read here.

The Fare network hosted an event in honour of World Refugee Day. At their Diversity House in Moscow they held an evening to celebrate the strength and perseverance of refugees, which included a guest speaker Svetlana Gannushkina, human rights activist and chairman of the Civic Assistance Committee.

UNICEF broadcasted live from Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan and focused on its child-friendly centres which allow kids the opportunity to play sport. Watch the interviews with some of the players on what football represents for them. UNICEF also recently launched its #LongestGoal challenge, which encouarges football fans worldwide to show support for migrant and refugee children. Find out how to participate here.

This list provides only a glimpse into a number of initiatives and events in sport and development for World Refugee Day. Be sure to let know what you planned by tagging us on social media, or as always feel free to contact

#WorldRefugeeDay #WithRefugees


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Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 14:09