Mo Farah champions integration through sports with new digital lab and tournament in Kenya


Mo Farah champions integration through sports with new digital lab and tournament in Kenya

Festus Chuma 11:00 - 22.04.2024

Mo Farah has launched a digital lab and annual football tournament in Kenya to empower youth and integrate migrants through sports.

Renowned Somali-British runner Mo Farah, serving as the Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), inaugurated the ‘Mo Farah Centre’—a new digital laboratory—at the Mathare Youth Sport Association (MYSA) in Kenya.

 The launch, which occurred on Sunday, marks the beginning of a three-day tour focusing on various humanitarian and development projects led by the agency.

The digital lab aims to harness the potential of technology in empowering youth and fostering development. 

 “It’s an honour to return to Kenya on my first official visit as IOM Global Goodwill Ambassador, to meet with people in the region I was born in and share the power of sport—how it transforms migrants' lives, unites people from different backgrounds, and builds confidence and communities," said Farah.

In addition to the lab, Farah launched the ‘Mo Farah Cup,’ an annual football tournament designed to promote economic empowerment and development through sports. 

The event aims to bring together youth, including migrants and refugees, to engage in sports while fostering social cohesion. The inaugural Mo Farah 7-aside Football Tournament was held at the MYSA Grounds, with Team Somalia clinching the victory.

The IOM highlighted the significance of Farah’s visit, stating it demonstrates the transformative power of sport as a tool for integrating migrants into host communities. 

 “As an extraordinarily successful Olympic athlete who has experienced both the challenges and joys of migration, Mo Farah is uniquely positioned to raise awareness of how to include migrants in societies around the world using sport as one tool to make that happen," said IOM director general Amy Pope.

During his visit, Farah is also scheduled to meet with migrants, local authorities, civil society, and other stakeholders. 

These meetings aim to raise awareness and advocate for the needs and aspirations of migrants in Kenya, a country hosting over one million migrants and half a million registered refugees affected by conflict, climate change, and economic hardships from across the continent.

Farah’s trip will culminate in a symbolic sprint with youth, migrants, and refugees at the Kakuma-Kalobeyei resettlement in Turkana.

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