Online initiative asks the world to "stand with" the refugees
One team competing in Rio will make history before the games even begin. For the first time, a team of refugees will compete in the Olympic Games, 10 athletes who fled their homes in Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo. An online initiative called "#TeamRefugees," celebrates "Bravery Beyond Borders" and asks the world to lend their support. A 60-second film, directed by filmmaking duo Lefty ("King Jack"), profiles an Iraqi boxer who tells the story of his family’s journey to safety. Boxing and training for the team inspired him and helped him get through the ordeal. The sport allows him to be seen as a boxer first and a refugee second. And the games, he says, will show the world what refugees are capable of, "they won’t pity us, they’ll respect us." The video is featured on the #TeamRefugees website and will be shared on social media. The effort is part of a larger initiative led by UNICEF and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to generate support for the team.