Refugees share stories about finding home through play

In a series of videos from the One World Play Project, players share what sport means to them.
One World Play Project believes everyone should have access to play—no matter who they are, where they come from or where they live. They know that play helps us recover from trauma, cope with challenging situations and encourages physical, psychological and social health.
In many places, including refugee camps and communities where refugees are resettling, play is non-existent. For refugee youth and adults living in exile, play is mighty important. It builds community, empowers individuals, creates joy and helps keep hope and optimism alive.
Tony Sanneh, CEO of The Sanneh Foundation, says, “We often think about the basic needs—and everyone’s worried about food, housing, medical—and they forget about the kids. And a child isn’t a child if he can’t play. One of the most comforting things we can do for every refugee family is provide them with a soccer ball, so their kid knows something that is familiar to them.”
For more than six years, One World Play Project has partnered with organisations in 28 countries to provide play for refugee youth. There’s still much work to be done.
Through the Play Together campaign, One World Play Project is raising ultra-durable One World Futbols—soccer balls that never need a pump and never go flat—for organisations working with refugees, immigrants and IDPs in communities around the world. Recipient organisations include Hermanos en el Camino (Mexico), International Sports and Music Project (Greece), Muti Onlus (Italy), Soccer In The Streets (Georgia, United States), The Sanneh Foundation (Minnesota, United States) and the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (South Sudan and Uganda).
One World Play Project is sharing refugees’ stories about sport and play, as part of the Play Together campaign. The video series can be viewed here.