ALIGHT (FORMERLY AMERICAN REFUGEE COMMITTEE): The Refugee Olympians

American Refugee Committee
The Refugee Olympians

In Rio, they ran away with our hearts. We’re talking about the Refugee Olympic team – a team of athletes, each one of whom defied all of the odds to compete in the XXXI Olympiad. A year later and under the patronage of Tegla Loroupe and the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation, these athletes and several more are keeping the dream alive. 43 refugee youth live together and train together at a camp in Nairobi.
Forget what you think you know about an Olympic training camp. These athletes walk several kilometers back and forth to the track where they train, and they don’t have any fancy equipment. In fact, they’re missing some really basic items. And so, starting on Day 231, we wanted to help these world-class athletes get some simple things that will help them make their dreams come true.

One of the things that helps you be at the top of your game each day – whoever you are – is a good night’s sleep. So when we learned that some of these athletes were sleeping two to a bed, we wanted to do something about it.
We got in touch with the bedmaker who constructed the training camp’s other beds and we put in an order for 10 more bunk beds. They’re just simple, black metal single bunk beds – but we knew the difference between sharing a single bed and having your own could be huge for the athletes.
And it was! “These are our beds! The boys can’t touch these,” said the female athletes, playfully, when the beds arrived (the ladies had been doing most of the doubling up). “Finally, we won’t be sharing.”
Tegla’s foundation is always scouting for new talent to join the refugee team, and so the group at the camp has been growing steadily. We purchased enough beds to get each athlete their own and have several open beds for new recruits. It was just a small change, but hopefully it will help them get the quality rest they need to excel and reach for the stars.
This change was made possible by Atomic Data.

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Alight (formerly American Refugee Committee)

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