FilmAid International is proud to announce a partnership with the International Olympic Committee to broadcast the Olympic Games in Kakuma Refugee Camp. Kakuma, home to over 200,000 people, will be represented in Rio by five remarkable athletes who have earned their place on the Refugee Olympic Team. Through the generosity of the IOC and the UN High Commission for Refugees, FilmAid will be able to broadcast the Olympic Games for the community in Kakuma so they can celebrate their friends’, neighbors’ and fellow refugees’ achievement, and cheer them on as they go for gold. Amnesty International is also supporting the initiative.
"The participation of a refugee team at the Rio Olympics is a great moment of global solidarity. It’s fitting that the people of Kakuma can watch athletes from their refugee camp represent them, and refugees everywhere, on the world stage. If the Olympics can welcome refugees, so can we all.” Said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
Kakuma means “nowhere” in Swahili. And nothing represents the spirit of the Olympics better than supporting the inspiring tenacity of these five young athletes who have literally come from ‘nowhere’ and struggled against heartbreaking challenges to compete at the highest level of their individual sports. Enabling the people who live in Kakuma, many of whom have lived in the camp for more than a decade, to see their community and their experience as refugees represented on the international stage is something truly remarkable.
FilmAid’s Managing Director, Keefe Murren said this about the partnership: “We applaud the IOC for giving refugee athletes a chance to compete, for calling attention to the refugee crisis and for recognizing the need to support communities of displaced people around the world who not only deserve to be treated with dignity, but also have so much to contribute to the rest of the world if only given the chance.”
For the first time ever, a refugee team will be competing at the Olympic Games under the Olympic flag. Ten refugee athletes will act as a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide and bring global attention to the magnitude of the refugee crisis, when they take part in the Olympic Games this summer, in Rio.
FilmAid, along with other key partners such as UNHCR and Amnesty International want to enable the refugee community in Kakuma, many of whom wouldn’t normally have the ability to watch the global event, to watch their team compete live with the rest of the world. Refugees will now have a place as they support their team. Competing as global citizens for the first time.
The live stream will begin with the Olympics opening ceremony on August 5th and continue until August 21st 2016.
Notes to Editors:
FilmAid was founded by independent filmmakers in 1999 in response to the refugee crisis during and after the Kosovo War. It is perhaps best known for its original program model: mobile screenings of beloved comedies and other entertainment to provide psychological relief and much-needed hope to child refugees and others suffering the ravages of trauma and displacement. Nearly two decades later, FilmAid is an innovative leader in humanitarian and crisis communications, using a community-based approach to create and distribute life-saving information to refugees in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Using film, radio and journalism created by refugees, FilmAid engages communities with dignity and respect, providing information about their rights, safety, health and well-being. Alongside public information campaigns, FilmAid trains young people in all aspects of storytelling and communications, empowering the next generation to advocate for its own rights and community needs. Connect to FilmAid at filmaid.org, @filmAid and at facebook.com/filmaid.
About FilmAid and the Kenya refugee community
In Kenya, FilmAid works with refugee and local communities in informal settlements and other parts of Nairobi, in Kakuma refugee camp and the greater Turkana County, and in Dadaab refugee settlements. By January 2015, Kenya was hosting more than 585,000 refugees and asylum seekers. (UNHCR Report 2015)
FilmAid Kenya reaches over 400,000 people annually with life-saving health and protection information.
Located in northwestern Kenya, Kakuma Refugee Camp is currently home to over 200,000 people (UNHCR June 2016). The population is predominately Somalis and South Sudanese, with smaller contingents from Ethiopia, Sudan, and the Dem. Rep. of Congo, amongst others. These men, women and children have been forced to seek refuge in Kenya from the terrors of conflicts, ethnic violence and atrocities occurring in their homelands.
Further information and contacts
FilmAid website: FilmAid.org
FilmAid New York
Keefe Murren, Managing Director
Magu Ngumo, Creative & Content Director
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees, including the right to education. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.