On the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Qatar Charity held a panel discussion entitled “The Role of Sport in Safeguarding and Empowering Refugees and IDPs”, at UN headquarters in New York, in co-operation with the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and many international humanitarian organisations.
In his opening statement, Qatar Charity CEO Yousef bin Ahmed al-Kuwari thanked the attendees for joining him to celebrate sports.
“Today, we celebrate sports differently, not with scores and goals but with life-changing stories, stories of hope, survival and dreams,” al-Kuwari said.
“Today, we have with us organisations and people seeking to bring about global peace and development through sports and I would like to thank them for honouring our invitation. Some of the people present with us today are real-life heroes, who challenged hardships of displacement and poverty. They will share their stories with us today,” he added.
For his part, the QFFD Director General, Khalifa bin Jassim al-Kuwari, said: “From the FIFA World Cup to the small pitches in remote villages, sport in its different forms has proven to be a powerful tool for forging social inclusion, breaking down barriers and promoting understanding between people.”
“Sport in such situations is an opportunity to provide a safe environment and supportive haven for refugees and IDPs. It could be a tool to build their individual skills and capacities and to boost their physical and psychosocial well-being and their self-esteem. It is indeed a mean to help them live a dignified life,” Khalifa added.
Several officials from many international humanitarian organisations, humanitarian experts, and sports stars from Kenya, Somalia and Afghanistan, who fled their countries, settled in other countries and made achievements, also took part in the dialogue.
The panel discussion organised by Qatar Charity, in collaboration with the Qatar Fund For Development, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the German Corp for International Co-operation (GIZ), and Save The Dream, covered many sports-related topics.
The visitors of the exhibition had the opportunity to see and understand the refugees situation through VR video shots.
Dignitaries at the Qatar Charity event at UN headquarters in New York.