The FEI President, HRH Princess Haya, took part in the latest boost for the successful “Giving is Winning” campaign at the Olympic Village in Beijing.
Giving is Winning is a joint IOC-UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) project whose concept is simple: Members and supporters of the Olympic Movement are encouraged to donate unused sports and casual clothes, which are then distributed by the UNHCR to various refugee camps around the globe.
This campaign follows a successful first edition, in which close to 30,000 items were collected on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. This time the IOC started the second campaign ahead of the Games, with the objective of collecting 50,000 items. The peak is to be reached at Games time, when athletes and other delegation members can offer their surplus of clothes in the Olympic Village.
The clothes are mostly used to facilitate sports activities in the camps. For refugees, sport can provide a semblance of normality, hope and structure to lives that are in disarray. Experience has shown that, especially for young refugees, the gift of sportswear associated with famous athletes is a tremendous morale-booster and a sign that the outside world does still care.
In her speech to Mr Liu Qi, President of the Beijing Organizing Committee, IOC President Jacques Rogge and guests gathered for the Giving is Winning campaign, the FEI President reaffirmed the underlying concept and worth of such a project.
“It is within our gift to carry a little hope and by doing so we will bring a smile to the face of the next generation. And we can achieve all this through the simple act of giving. In those camps more than half of the population is less than 17 years old. Like children all over the world they are in need of leisure activities and particularly sport to overcome the idleness of life in a camp. The provision of clothing is more than a practical gift it is the gift of dignity the means to walk with your head up in public the chance to pursue dreams.”
HRH Princess Haya makes her contribution to the "Giving is Winning" Campaign
HRH Princess Haya having dinner with the athletes at the Olympic Village in Beijing