Samsung and International Olympic Committee donate sports kits to local schools at World Refugee Day event
Event highlights the role of sports in youth development and the need for resources to nurture local talent
25 June 2012
On Saturday, 23 June, Samsung and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) donated 11 sports kits to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at Seshego Stadium in Polokwane. The UNHCR received the kits on behalf of schools and community-based organisations in Musina, Makhado, Tzaneen, Polokwane and Seshego, all of which cater for refugee and impoverished children and young adults.
The handover was conducted by the MEC for Safety, Security and Liaison Ms Florence Radzilani on behalf of the Premier of Limpopo, Cassel Mathale; Ntutule Tshenye, Business to Government and Corporate Citizenship Lead, Samsung Africa; and Maureen McBrien, Head of UNHCR Field Office Musina. Ms Hajera Kajee, 1st Vice President of the South Africa Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), introduced the Samsung, IOC, UNHCR Sports Kit Project.
The event, which took place 34 days before the kick-off of the Olympic Games in London, served to commemorate World Refugee Day (20 June) and to further Samsung and the IOC’s drive to foster intercommunity cohesion between refugee and local communities, and help children and young adults develop leadership, team-building and community-building skills through sports.
Says Maureen McBrien, UNHCR, “With over 15 million refugees amongst the world’s estimated 42.5 million displaced people, understanding how to build teams and work together to assist those at risk and foster intercommunity cohesion is vital to a healthy community. Sports have the power to generate hope and joy amongst people, skills are developed, and teams are made up of individuals each with their own communities behind them, but working together to succeed.”
Three sports kits, each catering for 300 children, were handed over to school representatives, and a fourth kit was donated to the ‘Save the Children’ organisation for children at the URC Boys and Women/Girls Shelter and orphans in Musina. Eight kits were distributed to community-based organisations and schools in Makhado, Tzaneen, Giyani and Polokwane.
Samsung is focusing on sports development as part of its drive to support the upliftment of youth across Africa. To enable more African athletes to compete on the world stage, the company sponsors several sporting events and associations across Africa, including the Angola African Cup of Nations, the International Association of Athletes Federation, and the Zambian Olympic Youth Development Centre. However, in the developing world, Samsung believes that support at this level is not enough.
“The unfortunate reality is that despite the passion for sport felt by young people across Africa, the majority are not able to realise their full potential”, says Ntutule Tshenye, Business to Government and Corporate Citizenship Lead, Samsung Africa. “This is largely because, from a young age, they lack the resources to help develop their natural talent. Interventions need to be made at the grassroots level of sports development, by providing children with the necessary sports gear at school-going age. And, by targeting schools we are also encouraging recreational participation in sport and the development of ‘healthy bodies and healthy minds’”.
Three sports kits will be shared amongst eight Musina schools: Messina Primary School, Gateway Primary School, Beit Bridge Primary, Martin De Pores, Kareberg Primary, Rixile Primary, Musina High, and Eric Louw. Musina-based organisation, Save the Children, will use their kit towards programs for unaccompanied and orphaned foreign national children living in Shelters as well as street children. Schools and community-based organisations in Makhado, Giyani, Tzaneen, and Polokwane also received kits.
Samsung’s donation is part of its broader corporate citizenship goal to positively impact the communities in which its consumers live, and directly impact the lives of 5 million people in Africa by 2015.
Over the next two years, Samsung and the IOC, together with UNHCR, will identify 20 countries from around the world to receive donations of sports equipment. In 2012, five countries including South Africa have been prioritised.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2010 consolidated sales of US$135.8 billion. Employing approximately 190,500 people in 206 offices across 68 countries, the company consists of nine independently operated business units: Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, Digital Imaging, Memory, System LSI and LCD. Recognised as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, semiconductor chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.