Olympic Refuge Foundation scales up programme in Uganda thanks to partnership with German Development Cooperation



A partnership between the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has enabled more young refugees in Uganda to benefit from a programme that aims to strengthen their mental health and well-being, in a context aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Game Connect project was launched in August 2020 and is being run in collaboration with the AVSI Foundation, Right to Play, Youth Sport Uganda, the Uganda Olympic Committee, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


The programme aims to deliver structured sport-for-protection activities to increase the resilience of more than 10,000 vulnerable youth aged from 15 to 24 in refugee camps in Kampala, Kamwenge, Lamwo and Adjumani, while also promoting a culture of peace and social cohesion between the refugees and members of the host communities.


Thanks to the support of GIZ, the programme has been expanded to the Kyangwali refugee settlement in the Kibuube District of western Uganda, with more than 1,620 participants – including refugees, members of the host community and young people with a disability – set to benefit from the expansion of the project.


Mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in vulnerable communities


In particular, GIZ and the ORF established this partnership to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in this community, with refugees among the most vulnerable to the consequences of the global health crisis – often residing in overcrowded camps, settlements and urban areas in cramped conditions with inadequate access to fresh water and hygiene supplies.


The Game Connect project uses a variety of sports activities and games to help participants acquire skills and strategies to support their own mental health and psychosocial well-being, while also learning how to apply these skills in their daily lives. In addition, parents and community leaders are educated about the topic of mental health, creating a sustainable social support network.


Helping young refugees to set goals


Atong Aluel, a 14-year-old refugee from South Sudan living in a settlement in Kampala, is among those to have already benefited from the Game Connect programme. Aluel fled her home country, after losing both her parents, in the hope of finding a stable life and education in Uganda.


She says she has learnt a lot from the Game Connect sessions, and her perspective on life has changed. “My favourite life skill is goal-setting,” she says. “I have set a long-term goal of becoming a bank manager. My short-term goal is to join the volleyball team because I love the game very much.”


Aluel also says she has been able to make many friends through the Game Connect activities, including Sonia, a Ugandan girl, who has taught her many things about her adopted home.


With more than 82 million forcibly displaced people like Aluel around the world, the need to help young people affected by displacement to thrive through sport is more relevant than ever.


The power of partnerships


Created in 2017, the Olympic Refuge Foundation marks the next chapter in the International Olympic Committee’s long-term commitment to supporting refugees through sport 365 days a year. The Olympic Refuge Foundation uses sport to improve well-being and connection and create opportunities for young people affected by displacement. Currently, up to 200,000 young people have been reached by sports programmes delivered with partners in six countries. The Foundation aims for 1 million young people affected by displacement to access safe sport by 2024.


GIZ, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), is using sport as a tool to create opportunities for children and young people and to contribute to designated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as good health, quality education, gender equality, employment, social inclusion and peaceful coexistence. Since 2013, GIZ, together with its partners, has reached over 1.2 million children and young people through 50 development projects in almost 40 countries and trained more than 7,500 trainers and facilitators all around the world.


Through their partnership, both the ORF and GIZ hope to make a positive impact on the lives of young refugees in Uganda, and look forward to exploring further collaboration and synergies in the future.




Hong Kong – Tokyo Olympic Games Mainland Olympians meet with Junior Police Call (with photos)

Tokyo Olympic Games Mainland Olympians meet with Junior Police Call (with photos)

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     Four athlete representatives from the delegation of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Mainland Olympians, who arrived in Hong Kong on December 3 for a three-day visit, met with members of Junior Police Call (JPC) at the Police College this morning (December 5). The athletes had a friendly chat with JPC members, sharing their pain and joy during the training.



     The four athletes were Tang Muhan (women’s swimming), Xie Siyi (men’s diving); Hou Zhihui (women’s weightlifting) and Shi Zhiyong (men’s weightlifting).



      About 40 JPC members with their family members took part in the event. The participants were keen to know about the athletes’ daily life during their training.  



     The Commissioner of Police, Mr Siu Chak-yee, in his welcoming speech, thanked the General Administration of Sport of China and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for arranging the Mainland Olympians to meet with the JPC members. While noting that JPC Scheme had all along devoted full efforts in nurturing the youth to become future leaders and enhancing their law-abiding awareness, he encouraged JPC members to learn from the Mainland Olympians their perseverance and hardworking attitude.

Hong Kong – Tokyo Olympic Games Mainland Olympians meet with disciplined services staff members (with photos/video)

Tokyo Olympic Games Mainland Olympians meet with disciplined services staff members (with photos/video)

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     Five athlete representatives from the delegation of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Mainland Olympians, which arrived in Hong Kong yesterday (December 3) for a three-day visit, met with disciplined services staff members, spoke on their experiences and gave sports demonstrations at the Fire and Ambulance Services Academy this morning (December 4). The Secretary for Security, Mr Tang Ping-keung, and the heads of six disciplined services departments extended a warm welcome to the five athletes on behalf of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government.

 

     The five athletes were from the country’s weightlifting and athletics teams. They were Li Fabin (men’s 61 kg weightlifting), Chen Lijun (men’s 67 kg weightlifting), Gong Lijiao (women’s shot put), Liu Shiying (women’s javelin) and Su Bingtian (men’s 100 metres).

 

     Around 500 participants took part in the event. Apart from staff members of the disciplined services, the participants also included members of various youth uniformed groups of the disciplined services and their respective management committees. Spectators were not only able to see the five Mainland Olympians showcase their talents up close, but also listened to the sharing of their success tips.

 

     In his opening speech, Mr Tang especially thanked the General Administration of Sport of China and the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR for arranging for the Mainland Olympians to meet with disciplined services staff members during their busy schedule, which demonstrated the Central Government’s support and recognition for the Hong Kong disciplined services departments. He encouraged disciplined services officers and youth uniformed group members to learn from the Mainland Olympians’ perseverance and hardworking attitude, and better equip themselves to contribute more to the country and Hong Kong.



     The event also included a car-pulling challenge to raise funds for Special Olympics Hong Kong. Mr Tang thanked the members of the management committees of the uniformed groups for their generous donation, which added to the success of this event.

Hong Kong – Tokyo Olympic Games Mainland Olympians delegation to visit Hong Kong

Tokyo Olympic Games Mainland Olympians delegation to visit Hong Kong

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     A spokesman for the Home Affairs Bureau today (November 25) announced receipt of confirmation from the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Mainland Olympians delegation, including 29 athletes and three coaches from 12 sports events, will visit Hong Kong from December 3 to 5. The list of athletes and coaches is available in the annex.

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government is extremely grateful to the COC for sending the delegation to visit Hong Kong and meet members of the public in Hong Kong, the spokesman said.

     The delegation will start the three-day visit upon arrival. It will attend a reception and banquet hosted by the HKSAR Government and visit the Hong Kong Sports Institute to exchange with Hong Kong athletes. Members of the delegation will attend three public events on December 4, including Sports Demonstrations by Mainland Olympians at Queen Elizabeth Stadium and Victoria Park Swimming Pool in the morning, as well as the Mainland Olympians Variety Show at Queen Elizabeth Stadium in the afternoon. Tickets requiring real-name registration for the three events will be available for sale tomorrow via URBTIX. The three events will also be broadcast live for  members of the public to enjoy on television.

     The delegation will leave Hong Kong in the afternoon on December 5.