Thanks to the generosity of the athletes, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the International Federations and other Olympic family partners, the third edition of the “Giving is Winning” campaign has enjoyed enormous success, almost reaching its target of collecting 100,000 items.
The project will continue for one or two more months after the end of the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London on 12 August. Donations will go to refugee camps run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Donors honoured in London
The support of donors was recognised at a ceremony held at the London Olympic Village in the presence of the IOC’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations, Mario Pescante, and the UNHCR, Antonio Guterres. The Commissioner presented a symbolic trophy to the NOCs of Australia, Singapore, Iran and Germany for their contributions, which he said would go to refugees from South Sudan, Ethiopia and Bangladesh, three of the main destinations of the collection campaign at Games time. But more camps and countries will be supported as well.
As Frankie Fredericks, an Olympian and an IOC member, reminded everyone in London at the launch of the campaign, “The ‘Giving is Winning’ campaign is a way for all of us, athletes and members of the Olympic Movement, to say: ‘we have not forgotten you’ to the people, in particular the young people, who live in refugee camps. For them, a T-shirt, a baseball cap or a ball represent a few moments of joy in a life that has little hope remaining.”
From refugee to Olympian
Several athletes who participated in the London Games know what it is like to be a refugee. Among them were Guor Marial and Lopez Lomong, both born in what is now South Sudan. Marial participated in the marathon as an Independent Olympic Athlete under the Olympic flag, and Lomong as a Team USA athlete in the 5000m. They both demonstrated their strong support and interest in the “Giving is Winning” campaign.