Alphonso Davies, FC Bayern Munich's left-back and player for the Canadian national football team, has been appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. "My own experiences make me want to speak up for refugees," said the 21-year-old, who was born in a refugee camp in Ghana. His parents fled civil war in their native country, Liberia.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has appointed Alphonso Davies, FC Bayern Munich's left-back and player for Canada's national football team, as its newest Global Goodwill Ambassador, the organization announced on Thursday, March 24.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that Davies' "personal story, his talent and triumph as a professional footballer and his commitment to help refugees is impressive."
"Sport has the incredible power to bring hope, to heal and to help shape the future for those forced to flee", added Grandi, according to a statement released by UNHCR.
Accepting his new role, Davies said, according to the statement: "I am proud to join the UN Refugee Agency, as a Goodwill ambassador. My own experiences make me want to speak up for refugees, to share their stories and to help make a difference."
He also said that refugees "need our support to survive", as well as access to education and sport to express their potential and to truly prosper.
Born in a refugee camp in Ghana, he knows 'what it means to be a refugee'
Born in a refugee camp in Ghana, to Liberian parents who fled the civil war in their home country, Davies, 21, knows what it means to be a refugee. "Whilst the refugee camp provided a safe place for my family when they fled war, I often wonder where I would have been if I had stayed there and not benefited from the opportunities I got thanks to resettlement. I don't think I would have made it to where I am today", the footballer was quoted as saying.
Davies and his family were resettled to Canada when he was five. He began playing professional soccer at 15 and made his national debut a year later, becoming the youngest player ever on Canada's national football team. He is now considered one of the best left-backs in the world due to his explosive pace and vision.
Collaboration with UNHCR since 2020
Davies started to collaborate with UNHCR in 2020, organizing an online soccer tournament to raise funds for refugees. In February 2021, he contributed to launch the Canadian government's campaign called "Together for Learning", which aims to promote access to high-quality education for refugees worldwide.