The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) today launched a week-long digital campaign to raise awareness and promote equal access for refugees and migrants with disabilities to Para sport.
This initiative is part of the STEADY — Sport as a Tool for Empowerment for (Dis) Abled Displaced Youth — Project, which aims at increasing sports participation of Displaced Youth with Disabilities (DYD).
The Project is funded by the Erasmus+ Sport programme of the European Commission and led by the Hellenic Paralympic Committee, together with various disability sport and social organisations across Europe.
The STEADY Action Week, from 2-8 August, will include a range of engaging content across all IPC social media channels with a strong call to action - ‘Inform yourself, Learn from others, Get involved’.
More than 82 million people around the world are displaced, with many being forced to flee war, persecution, and human rights abuses - 12 million of those people live with a disability.
Wisam Sami, a refugee wheelchair fencer from Iraq and STEADY Project participant, said: “I lost my home, I felt like nothing. But sport opened my eyes. Open your eyes, do sport and start a new life.”
IPC Membership Programmes Senior Manager Jose Cabo added: “The goal of the STEADY Project is to promote participation and provide an opportunity to try Para sport and exchange experiences with host communities.
“The Project does not want to create parallel structures or clubs for refugees with disabilities but have local clubs in which the local communities, refugees and asylum seekers play together.
“This Project is for everyone. Everyone can be part of this project.”