First donation of "Giving is Winning" at its destination
The first clothes donation of the new “Giving is Winning” campaign has arrived at its destination in Rwanda. Contributed by the British Olympic Association (BOA), refugees in four different camps and one transit centre in Rwanda received Team GB sports wear, balls and casual clothing. These items aim to support the established sports teams in the camps and encourage more young people and adults to take up sport in general. Experience shows that sport can provide a semblance of normality and structure to lives that are in disarray.
A booster for women and young people
A representative of refugee women in the Nyagatare Transit Centre commented:
"We were worried about the idleness of our youth in the Transit Centre; we are thankful to the BOA and UNHCR for this donation that shows us how they care for us. Besides, women have often been forgotten when it comes to sports activities, but we are so happy to see this time women are not forgotten. Thanks a million to the donors."
Sport for joy
Rwanda - which currently hosts 49,192 refugees and 730 asylum-seekers in four camps, two transit centres and urban areas - has never benefited from previous donations of sports clothes. However, the camps have used basic sport activities for some years now to relieve tension and build community bonds inside and outside the camps (between refugees and the nearby local population). Currently the Gihembe Camp’s basketball and football teams are representing the Province du Nord [northern province] in the National Games to be held in Gisenyi in August.
The concept of Giving is Winning
“Giving is Winning” is a joint IOC-UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) project in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The concept is simple: Members and supporters of the Olympic Movement are encouraged to donate unused sports and casual clothes, which are then distributed by the UNHCR to various refugee camps around the globe. This campaign follows a successful first edition, in which close to 30,000 items were collected on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.