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Education for refugees more than books

The Kick Project fully endorses the views of Melissa Fleming from UNHCR on empowering refugees within the camps and settlements to thrive, as per the above TED Talk, (or here if the embed isn't working) given in Rio last October.

She speaks mainly of academic education, the kind that leads to degrees and diplomas. Its a totally valid view but I would enhance what she says with a thought for the value of physical education through organised and secure sport.

Maths and English may not be for everyone. If fact, if that is the only subjects of education then this may even alienate students. In cases of refugees, these people have been alienated enough.

Sport, for me, provides the following important outcomes:

  • Good Health
  • Confidence
  • Interaction
  • Co-operation and Team-work
  • Competing Fairly
  • Hope
  • Fun
  • Pride
  • Trust in Others
  • Direction and Focus
  • Healthy Distraction and Escape
  • Community Engagement

I'm sure there are more. That's just off the top of my head.

The message is that refugees deserve so much more than most are getting from us in the wealthy, access-rich world. Formal education is important, along with the basics like food and shelter.

But living is not life. And so much of life can be learnt through access to competitive sport.

Fleming makes the point that refugee camps should be places of Healing, Learning and Opportunity.

To me that involved sport as much as books.

Soccer is the world game, with rules everyone understands.

I think the conclusion is simple.


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