Paralympic action week to promote sports for refugees with disabilities

The International Paralympic Committee has launched the Sport as a Tool for  Empowerment for  Disabled  Displaced Youth (STEADY) Action Week, a seven-day digital campaign to promote access for refugees and migrants with disabilities to Para sport. 

This initiative is part of the STEADY Project, which aims at increasing sports participation of Displaced Youth with Disabilities (DYD). It promotes the equal access of refugees and migrants with disabilities to organised Paralympic sports and grassroots sport. 

The project is funded by the Erasmus+ Sport Programme of the European Commission. It is led by the Hellenic Paralympic Committee, together with various disability sport and social organisations across Europe. The STEADY Action Week will run from August 2 to 8. 

It includes an array of content across the IPC's social media channels with the slogan "Inform yourself, Learn from others, Get involved". Jose Cabo, IPC Membership Programmes senior manager, said: "The goal of the STEADY Project is to promote participation and provide an opportunity to try Para sport and exchange experiences with host communities. 

"The project does not want to create parallel structures or clubs for refugees with disabilities but have local clubs in which the local communities, refugees and asylum seekers play together. This project is for everyone and everyone can be part of this project." 

There are more than 82 million displaced people worldwide, with many forced to flee war, persecution, and human rights abuses. Twelve million of those live with a disability. "I lost my home, I felt like nothing," said Wisam Sami, a refugee wheelchair fencer from Iraq and STEADY Project participant. "But sport opened my eyes. Open your eyes, do sport and start a new life."

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