AFC marks World Refugee Day through its Dream Asia Foundation
Like Olympic shooting champions Abhinav Bindra of India and Italy’s Niccolo Campriani, the Asian Football Confederation is using soccer as a tool for the cause of refugees through its Dream Asia Foundation.
It was in 2017 when the AFC Dream Asia Foundation was launched and since then has helped about 37,000 refugees through the confederation’s social responsibility activities. The World Refugee Day is being celebrated on Saturday.
“Football has the ability to inspire hope and it has the power to reach out to communities who need it most,” said the patron of the foundation and AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
“On World Refugee Day, it is our responsibility to remember that football can be used for good and to educate and empower people,” he added.
After retiring from the range, Abhinav Bindra, along with his long-time friend and three-time gold medallist Niccolo Campriani, are helping three refugees - Mahdi, Khaoula and Luna - in their attempt to qualify for the 10-metre air rifle shooting at the upcoming Games next year.
Improving millions of lives
The Asian Football Confederation’s AFC Dream Asia Foundation has used football to improve the lives of millions of refugees across various countries like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Palestine, Bangladesh and Malaysia.
One of their more prominent projects has been working towards the betterment of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar and Malaysia.
AFC’s project is supported by the Coaches Across Continents, UNHCR, International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent, JREC, Football Association of Malaysia and the English Football Association.
“Through the AFC Dream Asia Foundation, the AFC has made an impact on the lives of so many refugees and the good work with our partners must continue,” Shaikh Salman added.
On June 20 every year, the United Nations, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and many others host events to draw the world's attention towards the refugees who have been forced to flee their home.