Olympic Refuge Foundation Annual Report provides hope amidst mass displacement
By the end of 2022, the Olympic Refuge Foundation had invested more than USD18 million in safe sports programmes for refugees and displaced people, and reached more than 100,000 young people across 14 programmes in 10 countries.
By reaching thousands of individuals, the foundation has empowered them to rebuild their lives, improve their mental health, develop new skills and regain a sense of purpose and belonging through sport.
Key achievements of the Olympic Refuge Foundation in 2022 included:
Reaching more than 100,000 displaced people through its work and launching three new programmes in Bangladesh, France and Türkiye;
The Uganda programme – Game Connect – showing a more than 90% decrease in young people reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety;
Responding to the mental health needs of Ukrainian refugees through work seeded in the Olympic Refuge Foundation Think Tank; and
Onboarding more than 50 athletes onto the Refugee Athlete Support programme.
Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the foundation is particularly focused on working with the co-convenors of the Sport for Refugees Coalition – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Scort Foundation – to mobilise support for the Sport Pledge, which is currently being created and which is hoped will form a central part of the Global Refugee Forum in December 2023.
There are also plans to scale up a regional approach to the mental health programme supporting Ukrainian refugees, as well as work which has commenced in Bangladesh and Burkina Faso – countries where the Olympic Refuge Foundation has not previously worked. Furthermore, support of elite refugee athletes will continue through the Refugee Athlete Scholarship programme, as the athletes begin to look ahead to Paris 2024.
The Olympic Refuge Foundation annual activity report is available here.