Olympic champion Farah to highlight migrants plight in Kenya tour

Friday, April 19th, 2024 02:30 | By
Mo Farah
Mo Farah. PHOTO/Print

Renowned Somali-British marathon runner Mo Farah who is the Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will this weekend jet into the country for a three-day visit to tour humanitarian and development projects of the agency.

IOM said that Farah will also meet with migrants, local authorities, civil society, and other stakeholders, to raise awareness and advocate for the needs and aspirations of migrants in Kenya.

According to the agency, Farah’s visit will showcase the transformative power of sport as a tool for integration of migrants into the host communities.

Sunday will mark the highlight of Farah’s visit as he will launch a digital library at Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA).

Later he will participate in Mo Farah Cup, an annual football tournament which will enable him to interact with over 200 urban migrants.

Farah, 40, is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, and six-time world champion. He retired from athletics in September last year after a decorated career spanning over two decades.

He said achievements are a far cry from his humble beginnings in Somalia, having been trafficked from Mogadishu to London at the age of 8 and speaking very little English.

IOM onboarded Farah in its mission work in November last year during its 114th Council Session attended by governing bodies, and representatives of its 175 member states in Geneva.

After his appointment, Farah said he intends to use his new platform as a Goodwill Ambassador to raise awareness of issues affecting people on the move, including protection and trafficking, and advocate for the transformative power of sport, especially for women and girls.

“Migration is so important for all of us, including me. I was able to take the opportunity sport offered me to overcome my experiences as a young boy and show that no matter what we look like or what we sound like, we can achieve and overcome great things,” he said.

He went on: “No child should ever go through what I did; victims of child trafficking are just children. They deserve to be children. They deserve to play and to be kids.”

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