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24 Aug 2004
IOC News

"Giving is winning" on winning track

“Giving is winning”, the joint IOC-UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) project to collect items for refugees world-wide during the Olympic Games in Athens, has so far collected more than 10,000 T-shirts, shirts, trousers, caps and shoes. “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of the collection”, said the IOC Director of International Cooperation and Development, Tommy Sithole. “We expect even more items during the last week, when athletes and officials are leaving the village”, he added.

Samsung donation
IOC TOP partner Samsung has made a special contribution to the project, with 1,000 sets of clothes donated by the Korean electronics company. “The 1,000 sets of sports clothing donated by Samsung will certainly bring smiles and real joy to the young refugee men and women receiving this generous gift”, observed UNHCR project coordinator Claude Marshall.

“Gifts in Kind”
Other companies and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have made substantial donations. For example “Gifts In Kind International”, a US non-profit charitable organisation, has donated around 400 basketballs, more than 400 shoes, over 4,000 softballs and 102 volleyball kits under the programme “Sporting Goods To Go”, a joint initiative of the sporting goods industry and sports organisations. This donation has already reached its destination, Afghanistan, and is about to be distributed.

First distribution already carried out
Another donation has already reached refugees: the United States Olympic Committee (USOC)’s gift of over 500 unused t-shirts, 100 sweatshirts, volleyball clothing and a variety of sports equipment such as volleyballs and volleyball nets. The distribution in different refugee camps in Tanzania was handled by the UNHCR local team last July.

The NOCs of Greece and Australia also made collective donations, and a second major donation by the USOC is expected before the end of the Games.

FC Basle donates to “Giving is Winning”
Swiss football champions FC Basle, who are playing against Inter Milan in the European Football Champions League on Wednesday, have donated 2,000 T-shirts to the “Giving is Winning” campaign. The donation was made possible through the cooperation of Adolf Ogi, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on Sport for Peace and Development.

17 million refugees
Clothes collected in Athens will be dispatched to several camps in different continents. There are currently over 17 million refugees, internally displaced persons, returning refugees, and others, in the world. Witnessing the extraordinary result of the collection, UNHCR project coordinator Claude Marshall expressed the institution’s satisfaction: “Refugee children and young refugee men and women wearing an Olympic athlete's sports clothes are receiving a gift of real joy. In the otherwise bleak and desolate life of a refugee camp, they know that the more fortunate in this world still care.”

Learn more on Athens 2004

Official website of Athens 2004

Official website of the (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)
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