The International Cooperation Department of the IOC, in collaboration with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is launching during the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens the project <b>"Giving is winning"</b>.
All athletes and officials participating at the Olympic Games have been invited to donate clothes which will be distributed by the UNHCR to different refugee camps in the world. Several National Olympic Committees, as well IOC partners, such as DaimlerChrysler and the World Bank have already committed to donating some batches of unused clothes.
In the Olympic Village
A major collection effort will take place at the Olympic Village where all 10,500 athletes and 5,000 officials will be invited to support it. Special bags will be distributed and collector bins made available at different locations in the village.
First donations for refugees in Tanzania by USOC
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has already joined the IOC-UNHCR joint project. It has donated over 500 unused t-shirts, 100 sweatshirts, volleyball clothing, and a variety of sports equipment such as volleyballs and volleyball nets. The IOC took care of the shipping of the clothes and local distribution in the camps was handled by the UNHCR local team on Monday 5 July. The National Olympic Committee of Tanzania was also associated to this event.
A little bit brighter
More than 20,000 refugees, mainly young persons, male and female, of the camp of Greater Lukole will benefit from this donation to enjoy sport and feel part of the world-wide sport team. Sport and recreation are often one of the only joyful and motivating activities that refugees have in the camps, where their social and psychological conditions are often dramatic. Wearing a sport clothes from an athlete can make their life a little brighter and playing in organized sport can help them cope with the otherwise unbearable life as refugees in remote camps.
17 million refugees
Clothes collected in Athens will be dispatched to several other camps in different continents. There are currently over 17 million refugees, internally displaced persons, returning refugees, and others, in the world. The IOC has been supporting numerous UNHCR refugee camps through sport by providing sports equipment and educational material for many years.