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Amnesty International/Richard Burton
Medals matter at the Kakuma refugee camp, but pride trumps all
FROM NOWHERE TO WIN

Photos: The camp that most of the refugee team calls home has been holding a massive daily screening of the Olympic games

By Kata Karáth

Every four years, watching the Olympics inspires people in many ways—to join a soccer league, to dust off those running shoes, to eat healthier, and in general to give your best in life. But this year, the Rio Olympics gave something else to millions of people: a chance to show the world how far determination, dignity, bravery, and endurance can bring someone. The Rio games have made the world see the human behind “the refugee.”

Since the International Olympic Committee allowed athletes from several refugee camps to compete as the first-ever refugee team, the whole world, but especially the 65 million displaced people living today with no country to call home, are cheering in unison over oceans and borders.

Thanks to the FilmAid project, supported by Amnesty International, residents of the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya can follow a live-stream of the Rio Games from start till end.

Set up in 1991, Kakuma is home to some 185,000 people fleeing from war and persecution. And of the entire refugee team of 10, six athletes came from Kakuma. There’s a six hour time difference between northwest Kenya and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but young people of the camp are staying up late every night anyway to watch their representatives compete.

Amnesty International/Richard Burton
Many people have lived in Kakuma for over a decade
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
The Rio Olympics has brought global attention to the magnitude of the refugee crisis
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
The representation of millions of displaced people has meaning beyond any medal, but those in Kakuma are still very much excited about the competition itself
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
Kakuma is home to some 185,000 people who have fled from political conflicts, ethnic violence and other terrors
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
Every night, Kakuma’s residents stay up late to show their pride in their athletes
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
Six of the 10 athletes on the refugee team come from Kakuma
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
The Rio games offer two brief weeks of hope and inspiration
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
Refugees watch the 2016 Olympics at the Kakuma camp
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
FilmAid international, supported by Amnesty International, will broadcast the Olympics from the start till the end
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
Kakuma means “nowhere” in Swahili
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
Four athletes from Kakuma are competing in track and field
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
The satellite setup, provided by FilmAid international, keeps the games streaming live
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
The six hour time difference isn’t keeping anyone—even young kids—from watching every minute
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
As the night approaches, residents gather to watch the screening of the Rio Olympics
Amnesty International/Richard Burton
When the Rio games end, Kakuma will still be here. But perhaps it will give residents of the refugee camp new hope that the world is more aware of their plight