How wonderful to see a positive Australian initiative towards refugees, with the establishment of the Barefoot to Boots Foundation!
Here is an Australian project to give football (soccer!) boots, shirts and balls to refugees in the Kakuma Camp in NW Kenyan to ‘provide joy and improve health and safety’.
Australian and Adelaide United star Awer Mabil and his older brother Awer Bul, fellow United player Osama Malik, former diplomat Rachael West and businessman Ian Smith have formed Barefoot to Boots with the backing of Qantas, FFA, UNHCR, UNICEF Australia and the Australian Government.
Minister Bishop said:
“The Australian Government is happy to support initiatives, such as Barefoot to Boots, which build friendships and promote development through sport. Participation in sport helps people learn important life skills like teamwork, leadership and respect.”
Osama Malik’s father is from northern Sudan. He says:
“Dad comes from the same part of the world and Mabil and I have a bond at United that we share with players of similar backgrounds here and overseas; football has given us a privileged position and we want to give back.
It is the only global sport that can bring people together and reflecting these links we will link up with the Kenyan Football Federation, through the help of the FFA, to see how we can work together with fellow footballers over there in the future.”