"The Journey" | Photo: UNHCR in partnership with the IOC and IPC
"The Journey" | Photo: UNHCR in partnership with the IOC and IPC

UNHCR has launched a social media campaign with a video to support the Refugee Olympic and Paralympic teams.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday launched a social media campaign calling on the international community to support the Refugee Olympic and Paralympic teams. At the center of the global campaign is a social video titled "The Journey" that dramatically depicts the extraordinary stories of the refugee Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.

Released on 6 April to mark the UN's International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the video tells the dramatized story of a refugee woman forced to flee her home on foot to escape conflict and persecution, travelling by land and sea to eventually reach safety. Once she is established in a safe place, she takes her life back and starts running towards a new goal: a medal.

The power of sport to help rebuild a life

The video was created in collaboration with two IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holders and highlights the power of sport to help a person rebuild their life and to bring hope and change for all those forced to flee.

UNHCR recalled that there are currently over 60 refugee athletes and para-athletes training in the hope of competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The agency is working closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC), to support the current refugee athletes who, despite the challenges of displacement and the Covid-19 pandemic, continue to train to achieve their dreams.

Sport is "more than just a leisure activity; it has the power to bring hope, heal and help refugees reclaim their futures", UNHCR said, recalling that over 80 million people are now displaced worldwide.

'Proud to support refugee athletes'

"We at UNHCR are so proud to support the refugee athletes training for the Olympic and Paralympic Games," said UNHCR's Director of External Relations Dominique Hyde.

"Against the odds, these extraordinary athletes have kept their dreams alive to represent millions of refugees around the world. Together with our partners the IOC and IPC we're dedicated to a world in which all those who have been forced to flee, including those with disabilities, can access their right to sport and play at all levels," she said.


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