A message from Klabu
Every year, we mark World Refugee Day on 20th June. It is a day to celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee and is an occasion to build empathy and an understanding of their plight and resilience. In these times, displaced populations are especially at risk. Sport has been known to play a positive role in the lives of displaced populations, and these organisations have been a crucial part of this movement around sport and refugees. This year, we want to recognise the efforts of organisations working with refugees, as well as highlighting how the pandemic has affected lives of displaced people.
To mark World Refugee Day this year, sportanddev reached out to organisations across the globe who are working with and for refugees. These organisations operate in different regions across Africa, South America and Europe. This article on Klabu’s work is part of the series of articles sharing the stories of these organisations and how they have been affected.
Working in refugee settlements in Kenya, Klabu uses sports as a powerful tool to help rebuild lives. To take this forward they opened their first clubhouse at the Kalobeyei refugee settlement in Kenya.
“To run the clubs, we developed an innovative library system. Local managers rent out sports equipment and games against very affordable rates and use the income for repairs and tournaments. The system is simple and sustainable, and can easily be replicated globally. In Kalobeyei where we built our first sports club together with NGO's LWF and Roof for Humanity in 2019, the club now has 9,700 members from 13 different African countries. Every day hundreds come together at the club to play volleyball, football or a game of chess.” Their goal is “to set up 15 new clubhouses in the next 5 years, powering sports for 150,000 young refugees around the world”
A message from them on the occasion of World Refugee Day and how they have adapted to the conditions presented by the COVID-19 pandemic:
At KLABU, which means ‘club’ in Swahili, we are bringing the power and joy to young athletes living in refugee camps across the world.
Together with local communities, we’re building a global club which consists of many clubhouses, unlocking opportunities for hidden talent. The clubhouses are run by the local communities themselves, stimulating self-reliance, ownership and responsibility. We are coaching local managers through online tools and occasional visits.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic clubhouse activities are very limited, visits are postponed and building new clubhouses has been delayed. In light of the World Refugee Day we will continue to develop refugee capabilities and skills through meaningful engagement. It’s their KLABU!”