1 in 78 people on earth today has been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, human rights violations, climate disasters and persecution. 103 million people of all ages and walks of life are forcibly displaced, including refugees, asylum seekers and the internally displaced.
People with refugee experiences face political, economic, social and personal challenges spanning safety, trauma, housing, oppression and employment. These are compounded by the difficult experiences they face on their journey to resettlement where characteristics such as age, gender, ability, socioeconomic status, educational background, sexual orientation and religion greatly impact their individual experiences.
As one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises, Beyond Sport launched the Sport Together Fund in 2022 to provide grants and capacity-building support to non-profit organizations, sports clubs and collectives who are assisting communities facing conflict, human rights violations and climate change disasters. The Fund also supports the transit and host communities where people are rebuilding their lives.
Starting with a commitment to support people displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Beyond Sport engaged in months of intensive research and formed an Expert Advisory Group to codesign the Fund. The 11 international advisors bring expertise in human rights law, refugee and migration support, program development, conflict resolution and lived refugee experiences.
Just six months from our launch, we have selected the first seven organizations to receive funding for the delivery of sports-based leadership training opportunities for refugees. Collectively, these organizations represent nine countries with programming tailored for women and girls, individuals living with disabilities and minority ethnic groups. The Fund also allows organizations to choose to invest in their own capacity development in order to better respond to the complex needs of people with refugee experiences. Programs will begin early 2023.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FIRST ROUND GRANTEES:
AMANDLA – SAFE HUB BERLIN
ASSOCIACIÓ ESPORTIVA RAMASSÀ
BLOOMSBURY FOOTBALL FOUNDATION
GIRL POWER ORGANISATION
LEAGUE OF TOLERANCE
TE AUD ROMANIA
YOGA AND SPORT WITH REFUGEES
The program is guided by the Sport Together Fund Priorities & Guiding Principles, a set of values-based standards and an intentional grant-making approach, that places refugees at the heart of program design and pledges to do no harm. Priorities include:
- Intentional design – purposeful design of sport to be inclusive, supported by research-based best practices
- Grassroots – uplifts local sports initiatives, volunteer groups, associations and NGOs where refugees are most likely to access sport and physical activity
- Intersectional – prioritize systemically marginalized groups, including unaccompanied minors, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ+ community, girls and women and older adults
- Refugee leadership – training and professional development that bestow responsibility and opportunity to refugees
- Diversity – interaction between refugees and host communities and celebration of social interactions between individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds
- Do no harm – identification and mitigation of risks and the unintended consequences that might cause harm while ensuring the safety of all participants
- Sustainability and community building – meaningful initiatives that help people build their lives in their new location beyond participating in the sport-based activity
The Fund has already seen support from major players in sport and sport for development, including strategic support from UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency.