Last updated on March 23rd, 2022 at 08:23 PM
Laureus, announces it is to set up the ‘Laureus Sport for Peace Humanitarian Action Fund’ to help alleviate the human disaster unfolding in and around Ukraine following the Russian invasion.
The fund will support agencies on the ground in Ukraine providing food, emergency water, medicine, hygiene kits to prevent disease, shelter and safe spaces for mothers and children on the move, to help a growingly desperate and vulnerable population.
Further support will be provided to those who have fled the fighting and have made their way to relative safety in neighbouring countries.
Donations from corporate partners, athletes and sports bodies will be channelled to Laureus’ partner humanitarian organisations working on the front line, such as UNICEF, Save the Children and Red Cross / Red Crescent. Public donations can be made via Just Giving.
The Laureus Sport for Peace Fund will be a major beneficiary of the ‘Play Your Part’ campaign which has been launched this week by Laureus Ambassador Andriy Shevchenko, who captained and later managed the Ukraine national team.
Shevchenko, who has family in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, which is currently under siege by Russian forces, said: “Like millions of others, my family and friends are trapped, under the constant threat of bombs and bullets.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for people in Ukraine to get food, water and other fundamental things needed to survive. I want to do whatever I can to help the people of my homeland, which is why I’ve launched ‘Play Your Part’.
I urge everyone to do what they can to donate and support the millions of innocent people caught up in this conflict.”
Among those making early donations are former world heavyweight champion and Laureus Award Winner Vitali Klitschko, now mayor of Kyiv and leading the civic response in the city.
Laureus is a non-political sports-based organisation which was founded in 2000 and uses the power of sport to improve the lives of young people around the world.
Over the last 20 years over six million young people have had their lives improved through the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Laureus Sport for Good is driven by the commitment of the Laureus World Sports Academy, comprised of 71 of the greatest-ever sports stars. The first patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela.
Laureus Academy Chairman Sean Fitzpatrick said: “The Fund will enable us to galvanise the power of sport to provide life-saving support via partnerships with leading humanitarian relief agencies.
It will also enable us long term to help people and communities to recover. One of the biggest focuses will be on helping refugees.
Fortunately many of the 250 sports-based programmes we currently support around the world work in this area to facilitate the integration of refugees into new communities. We are clearly going to need a lot more of that to tackle the crisis we are facing today.”
All actions by the Fund will comply with international principles and standards for humanitarian action: Humanity, Neutrality, Impartiality, Independence.
Allocation of money from the fund will follow vetting and approval procedures in line with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and agreed with the Foundation’s Trustees.
A percentage of funds raised through the different channels will be reserved for recovery, rehabilitation and longer-term support, focusing on the provision of trauma-sensitive sports activities for young people in conflict-affected communities and to help community cohesion and peaceful dialogue where there are large intakes of refugees.