Wonderland.

KLABU FOUNDATION

Meet Klabu, the Amsterdam-based charity that builds sports clubs in refugee camps.

KLABU Foudnation Amsterdam football Wonderlnd
KLABU Foudnation Amsterdam football Wonderlnd

KLABU (“club” in Swahili) is an Amsterdam-based non-profit organization, linking young refugees to the world of sports by building sports clubs in refugee camps, settlements and cities.

There are currently 25.4 million refugees across the globe, people who have had to escape their home countries because of war or persecution, the number standing as a record high since the second World War. More than half of these people are younger that 18, and many spend their entire youth living in difficult conditions in refugee camps, where days are often long marked by a lack of activity or potential hobbies. This is where the KLABU Foundation come in.

In January 2019, the Foundation built its first KLABU sports club in the Kalobeyei refugee settlement (population of 36,000) in north Kenya, a settlement in which sports initiatives had previously been practically unheard of. There, tehe club provided (and continues to provide) facilities, sports equipment and clothing through an innovative library system. On average, 500 new members are join every week, bringing young adult refugees (from 13 African countries) and local Kenyans closer together.

KLABU Foudnation Amsterdam football Wonderlnd
KLABU Foudnation Amsterdam football Wonderlnd
KLABU Foudnation Amsterdam football Wonderlnd
KLABU Foudnation Amsterdam football Wonderlnd

To kickstart the official launch of KLABU, the foundation, which is headed up by young people in both Amsterdam and Kenya, created the Kalobeyei Spirit sports kits, in both home and away colours. The design of the kits symbolizes key elements of African craft, with the contemporary look of the shirt allowing it to double up as a unique streetwear piece. All proceeds go towards the community-led foundation, which has plans to replicate the simple and sustainable concept in other refugee settings across the world.

Speaking on the initiative, KLABU founder, Jan van Hövell, said: “When we started KLABU, we couldn’t have dreamt so many would join to make it work. All of us united in a common goal – to support refugees – through a common passion for sports. Although sports cannot solve all challenges refugees face, they do bring people together and can ultimately make ‘away’ feel more like ‘home’.”

Watch the campaign video below.

KLABU FOUNDATION

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