We believe in full transparency. Regarding our
mission, our goals and how KLABU works.
See below the answers to the most frequently asked questions about who, what and why.
1. What is KLABU?
KLABU is a Dutch social start-up with a scalable business model to power positive change, founded by Jan van Hövell together with a group of dedicated young people in Amsterdam and Kenya. During our work in various refugee camps around the world, we have experienced first-hand how sports and games can make a huge difference in the lives of young refugees rebuilding their lives far from home.
2. What is KLABU’s mission?
KLABU means 'club' in Swahili. We build sports clubs in refugee camps to support the unbeatable spirit of refugees and improve lives.
Although our initial focus is on refugees, KLABU wants to empower any young person to enjoy the benefits of sport. In the future, we will engage other young people living in tough conditions, e.g. in slums, favelas and remote areas.
3. How is KLABU achieving this mission?
We build sports clubs where refugees are rebuilding their lives: in camps, settlements and even cities. The sports clubs provide access to sports equipment and clothing on the basis of a library system, e-gaming, Wi-Fi and solar power, all owned and managed by refugee and host communities. The system is simple and sustainable, and can easily be replicated globally.
We involve impact-minded sports fans through KLABU sportswear. With each product sold, you join our mission.
4. Why is supporting young refugees an urgent issue?
Over 80 million people across the world are currently fleeing from war and persecution, in search of safety and a better future.
Several organizations provide refugee communities with basic necessities such as shelter, water and food. However, all of us, irrespective of our circumstances, have hopes and dreams beyond just survival.
This is where KLABU aims to add value to a refugee’s life: reigniting spirit and improving lives through the power of sport.
5. Why sports?
Playing sports makes you happy. It keeps you healthy, focused and releases tension. No matter what language you speak or where you are from, we all understand the benefits of sports in our busy lives. But why are sports especially important for refugees?
When refugees flee their home, they leave everything behind: family, friends, belongings. Admitted to another country as a refugee, they find safety but not much more. To return home in safety or receive permission to settle in a new country can take years and in the meantime, refugees wait. Opportunities for education and work are limited, frustration sets in and the talent and potential of young people is wasted.
Sports cannot solve all these problems, but they can help refugees recapture a sense of purpose in their daily lives. Sports activities stimulate initiative and develop life skills such as teamwork. Helping refugees to not only cope in a difficult situation but also to develop and grow in spite of it. This may even have a healing effect on past traumatic experiences.
Sports activities are also an important vehicle for positive interaction and cooperation between refugee and local communities. When refugees and locals play and organize themselves together, acceptance and integration can follow.
As we have seen first-hand, sports also build bridges across borders. The joy of playing and watching sports is a language we all speak and a spirit we all share.
This summarises what KLABU stands for: not to accept wasted lives and lost generations but to re-ignite spirit and help refugees cope and connect on their way to a better future.
6. What is most needed?
In refugee camps, NGO’s often provide food, housing, medical care and educational support but there are no structural solutions for sports equipment or infrastructure beyond just survival. The most essential needs are sports equipment, sportswear and playing fields.
To encourage girls to join sports activities, suitable sportswear is needed to meet religious and cultural requirements.
7. What makes KLABU different from other sports initiatives?
Most sports initiatives in refugee camps are one-off and sporadic. Donated materials are often not looked after, can be sold or are not suitable to the tough conditions in a camp. Sports programmes end when instructors leave the camp or sponsors simply lose interest.
KLABU provides a long-term solution for young refugees and locals to play sports because it is community-driven. The refugees and locals are engaged from the very beginning, we build the sports clubs together and they are in charge of the day-to-day management of their club.
8. How does KLABU work in practice?
The club works like a sports library run by the local community. KLABU leaders (men and women from the refugee and local community) lend out sports and games equipment to refugee and local youth to play the most popular sports and games. The library system ensures sports equipment is looked after and returned. Thanks to the library system, each KLABU can provide access to sports for thousands of refugees.
Clubs are solar and wifi powered, creating extra benefits for the community: electricity and connectivity. These additional benefits come at a small price which stimulates their ownership and self-reliance to help sustain the sports club.
The sports club is also a starting point for training, tournaments and social interactions. It has a sports as well as a broader social function, making sports a daily habit and making away feel more like home.
9. What does a KLABU sports club look like?
A KLABU sports club consists of a clubhouse which is a bright and inviting place where people come together to meet and play, open for refugees and host community members from all nationalities, ages and genders. Everyone is welcome at the KLABU.
On its stage, music and dance can be performed, and groups hold meetings and make plans for a better future. Additionally, indoor games tournaments are held within the clubhouse - a favorite event among women and youth.
The clubhouse is designed with the refugee and host community. We involve local builders and artisans to ensure the club meets their requirements and needs. In the process, the construction crew earn a meaningful income and take pride and ownership over their club.
10. Who are the KLABU Leaders?
The local KLABU Leaders are representatives from the refugee and local community who run the clubs and actively connect the community to sports and games by organising tournaments and acting as local advocates for the club. Usually there are four Leaders, from both the refugee and host community and a mix of men and women. The Leaders receive a modest but meaningful monthly contribution.
11. How can KLABU build sports clubs far away when you’re based in Amsterdam?
To set up a new KLABU sports club, we always work with a local partner and local Leaders from the community. They are the project owners, KLABU is the facilitator and fundraiser. Together we identify the local needs, develop a budget and work plan and bring it into practice.
12. Why is the first KLABU in Kalobeyei?
In the Kalobeyei Settlement in northern Kenya, almost 70% of the 36,000 refugees are 18 or younger. Sports initiatives were near non-existent before the introduction of KLABU. With its relatively good infrastructure and no current safety threats, Kalobeyei was also a good place for us to test logistics, impact and solve start-up problems before scaling up.
Another reason to start in Kalobeyei was the fact that it is a settlement, not a camp. In the past the focus has been on short-term solutions: housing refugees in the traditional camps we see on our TV screens. That is fortunately changing. More and more refugees are supported to construct a permanent home, go to school and start businesses in their host countries. They are building new lives in a new home.
13. What has KLABU accomplished so far?
Since the foundation of KLABU in late 2017, we have built our organisation, crafted a business model, generated support from funders and partners and executed a successful pilot program in Kalobeyei. In January 2019, we completed the construction of the first KLABU sports club, set up the local management system and supplied the club with materials and equipment.
Today, the club is open daily and functions as a community hub to meet and play. It serves as a blueprint for the expansion of the concept in refugee communities around the world, adapting to local conditions when necessary. Following a challenging period of COVID-19, we are now ready to launch new sports clubs in refugee camps.
14. How does KLABU measure impact?
We measure impact on a real-time basis through detailed online forms which are filled out digitally at the KLABU sports clubs by the club members when they (1) register, (2) borrow any sports item, or (3) return any item. This is how we track the active participation of the club members, whilst measuring the impact that we make on their health.
The KLABU Leaders make sure that the forms are filled out correctly. Through Whatsapp and occasional visits we stay in close touch with them to evaluate the answers so that we can anticipate directly and further improve KLABU’s impact on our way forward.
We are currently working on a tailor-made digital application for impact (and stock) management and measurement, which will be used at all KLABU sports clubs.
15. Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, how are you ensuring the continuity of your programming?
In times of COVID-19, we are more than even committed to our mission: especially now, being able to practice sports is essential for the mental and physical resilience, wellbeing and health of the refugee and host community in camps.
A huge benefit of the sports club model is that it is locally community-led: the day-to-day management is in hands of the local KLABU Leaders, meaning that we can keep mentoring and supporting them at distance and through local partners.
16. What’s next for KLABU?
The refugee crisis shows no signs of lessening. Our aim is to set up 25 sports clubs in refugee camps in the next 10 years, getting 500,000 refugees onto the playing field.
B. Business Model
17. Why does KLABU need funding?
KLABU is a scalable model that can be easily replicated around the world. First in refugee camps and later on in other places where young people do not have access to sports such as slums and favelas. The KLABU Foundation requires funding to finance the costs to (a) set up and and (b) run the sports clubs.
The costs to set up one KLABU sports club with capacity for 5,000 young athletes start at €75,000. These costs include materials (clubhouse construction materials, sports equipment and sportswear for the library) and execution (construction clubhouse, management and training for managers). The annual operating costs for each club start at €25,000 and include new materials and salaries for the local managers.
Our overhead budget is very modest. We are a small, experienced and dedicated team. The voluntary and enthusiastic support from a group of great partners and advisors has been indispensable to set up the KLABU in this start-up phase.
18. How is KLABU organised?
KLABU creates a self-sustaining business model due to its foundation and brand working together.
The KLABU Foundation takes care of everything on the ground, this involves the inception, erection and maintenance of clubhouses, identifying new possible ways to innovate access to sports and moving KLABU to the people and places it is most needed in the world. The KLABU Foundation is registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (ANBI) in the Netherlands and overseen by a Supervisory Board. It funds activities primarily through donations from institutions and private individuals, and proceeds from the sale of KLABU related apparel and other related products. 100% of what we fundraise goes towards powering sports in refugee camps through the sports clubs.
Instead of being fully reliant on donations and funding from sponsors, we want to become a healthy organisation that can have long-term impact, therefore the development and sale of KLABU related products is spun off by the Foundation into a separate legal entity, KLABU B.V., a limited private company which is a social enterprise that runs the KLABU brand. This facilitates an increase in the proceeds from sale of products and thereby the funding that becomes available to the Foundation to fulfil its mission. Half the profits from our sales go to the KLABU Foundation to maintain our sports clubs in refugee camps. The other half are reinvested to increase our brand’s impact.
19. How can I support KLABU?
If you are an individual, you can purchase KLABU apparel and accessories through our webshop. Are you a team or organisation? We can customize KLABU kits for your team, for more information please visit our Team Kits page.
You can also make a direct donation to the KLABU Foundation to set up and run (new) sports clubs.
20. How will my contribution make a difference?
Your contribution makes all the difference. As an organisation or an individual, when you donate directly to our foundation, we can use the full amount to build more sports clubs. 100% of what we fundraise goes towards our mission.
If you choose to buy KLABU sportswear, 50% of the profit of sales (or 10% of the revenue, whichever is higher), is donated to the foundation, the other 50% is reinvested into the brand to sustain continued growth. is attributed to the funding of the sports clubs, empowering refugees to play sports and improve their lives. The other 50% is reinvested into the brand to sustain continued growth.
21. Why are you selling KLABU sportswear?
KLABU sportswear enables us to celebrate the spirit of the KLABU refugee club members and their stories of resilience, bravery and love. It also generates income. Instead of being fully reliant on donations and funding from sponsors, we want to become a healthy organisation that can have long-term impact. Developing and selling KLABU products gives us a level of independence.
On top of that, the more people wearing KLABU sportswear, the more we spread our story and build bridges. Wearing KLABU makes you an ambassador for young people in refugee camps and their ability to keep on going, to find hope in adversity, to band together and grow.
22. Where can I buy KLABU sportswear?
KLABU sportswear is available online via our webshop and in our store at Haarlemmerdijk 106 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. If you are a retailer and you are interested in KLABU sportswear, please get in touch with us.
23. Where is KLABU sportswear designed and produced?
The collections are designed in Amsterdam with input from Kenya. The premium badges, heat transfers and other trims are donated by our partner Avery Dennison. The high quality shirts, shorts and socks are all manufactured in Europe (mostly) and Asia.
24. Is KLABU sportswear eco-friendly?
Many items within our collection of sportswear are made from recycled materials. However, currently, not 100%. Not yet. We are well aware that improvement is needed in this area and we are working hard to make this happen. We did choose to minimise our carbon footprint by producing most of our sportswear in Europe and opted for recycled polybags for the majority of our packaging. As we scale up our organisation, we aim to make sustainability a core focus in all facets of sportswear production.
25. What is the best way to clean my KLABU sportswear?
The sportswear should be machine washed at a cold temperature (30°C). Please don't tumble-dry.
26. When will KLABU release new sportswear?
We are working hard on new products. We also want to collaborate with existing brands. Sign up in the footer below for our newsletter to receive priority updates and follow us on social media @theklabu.
27. How can I purchase KLABU sportswear?
1: Select a product
2: Select the size of the product
3: Add the product to your shopping cart
4: Choose the size of the product
5: Click ‘To Secure Checkout’
6: Enter your details
7: Select one of the payment methods
8: Place your order by clicking ‘Pay now’
28. Do I need a KLABU account to order sportswear?
No, you do not need to create an account to make a purchase. Just enter your select the product(s) you wish to purchase, enter your details, pay and the order will be on its way to you.
29. How can I find the right size for me?
To find your perfect size, each item includes a size guide. We recommend you take a look at this size guide when you are considering a purchase.
30. Can I change or cancel my order after I have paid?
After you have placed your order, it is unfortunately no longer possible to change the details or cancel.
E. Shipping, exchanges and returns
31. Which countries do you ship to?
We ship KLABU sportswear to you, wherever you are. Please note that if you are based outside the European Union, you may have to pay additional import duties and taxes when you receive your order – these additional costs are for your account. Please contact your local authorities and/or postal service to learn more.
32. What are the shipping costs?
We offer free delivery in the European Union on orders with a value of €50,- and above. For other orders, different shipping costs apply to different destinations:
· €5 standard shipping costs
Germany, France and Belgium:
· €10 standard shipping costs
Other countries within the European Union:
· €15 standard shipping costs
Rest of the world (including the United Kingdom):
· €20 standard shipping costs
33. Which payment methods do you accept?
· Visa (free)
· MasterCard (free)
· AmericanExpress (free)
· iDeal (free)
· Klarna (free)
34. Can I track my order?
Yes, as soon as we ship your order, you will receive an email from our fulfilment partner PostNL with a Track & Trace code, so you can track the shipment of your KLABU sportswear.
35. Has my order been shipped yet?
When our fulfilment partner ships your order you will receive an email with your shipping confirmation and a Track & Trace code. This can be used to track delivery of your item(s).
36. What is the delivery time of my KLABU order?
Unless mentioned otherwise, your KLABU apparel will be delivered to:
· Netherlands: 1-2 business days
· Germany and Belgium: 2-3 business days
· Rest of European Union: 4-8 business days
· Rest of the world: 5-15 business days
Please note that due to COVID-19 shipping can take longer than usually, especially overseas. Contact us at email@example.com if you have a specific question on your order.
37. What happens if I’m not around when my package is delivered?
If you are not around when your package is delivered, through the Track & Trace code, please check if it is delivered at your neighbour or if the local courier will try to deliver your package again on the next business day.
38. What is your returns and exchange policy?
If you are not satisfied with your KLABU sportswear, you can return or exchange within 30 days, but only if the apparel is unused, undamaged and with all labels still attached.
Please note that since we are a social start-up we cannot offer you free returns or exchanges, meaning that the shipment costs of returning or exchanging any item are at your own expense, so please consider your purchase carefully.
If you want to return or exchange any item, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we get in touch with you as soon as we can.
39. I’ve returned my order, what happens now?
As soon as we receive your package, we'll send you a confirmation email. If the apparel is unused, undamaged and with all labels still attached, we will refund your money as soon as possible or make sure that you get an exchange.
40. Is KLABU looking for partners or sponsors?
Yes please! Our ambition is to multiply our impact by setting up many more KLABU sports clubs in refugee camps, and we can’t do that alone. We are very fortunate to be supported by amazing companies and organisations so far, and are always looking for opportunities to join forces.
Send us an email at email@example.com. We will get in touch as soon as possible.
41. Does the KLABU Foundation have ANBI status?
Yes, the KLABU Foundation is qualified as a ANBI (or Public Benefit Organisation) by the Dutch Tax Authority.
Our ANBI identification number (or RSIN-number) is 858181228.
Since the KLABU Foundation is qualified as a ANBI, this leads to a number of tax advantages including that natural and legal persons making donations to the KLABU Foundation may deduct their gifts from their Dutch income tax or corporate income tax.
42. What is the best way to donate?
There are several ways to financially support KLABU:
1. To make a single donation, please go to our donation webpage.
2. To donate periodically, please get in touch through the wesite contact form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. To make a direct bank transfer, see the bank details below (answer to question 21). Please mention: ‘Donation’.
4. If you would prefer an invoice or a donation receipt for tax purposes, please send us an email (email@example.com).
43. What are KLABU’s bank account details?
IBAN: NL98 TRIO 0338 7993 89
BIC-number or SWIFT-number: TRIONL2U
Bank name: Triodos Bank
Bank address: Utrechtseweg 44, 3704 HD Zeist, The Netherlands
Account name: Stichting KLABU Foundation
Address of organisation: Vredenburgersteeg 13, 1012 DZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
44. Can I donate periodically?
Yes, please! Regular donations mean a consistent, predictable income for the KLABU Foundation helping us to plan and budget more efficiently. There are benefits for you too. A recurring donation is a hassle-free way to support KLABU and may be tax deductible. In the Netherlands this is the case as KLABU has the so-called ANBI-status.
To donate periodically, please get in touch by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
45. Does KLABU need material donations?
We prefer to buy local and and not to burden the planet with cross-continental transport. However, sometimes specific materials are needed that we can’t source locally. Please contact us at email@example.com to find out what is needed right now.
46. Is it possible to interview one of the KLABU team members?
We are happy to talk about KLABU with you. For any press or media related questions, please fill in the website contact form below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
47. Do you have a media package?
Yes, we do. Please contact us at email@example.com for further information.
48. Would you like to help us support the unbeatable spirit of refugees?
That’s great! We are always looking for talented individuals to help grow our organisation and our impact. At this early stage we can only promise modest compensations but we do have massive ambition. Do you want to grow with us? Please get in touch by filling in the website contact form or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Right now we’re looking for specialists or interns in:
· creative copywriting
· graphic design
· digital marketing
· project management
· sportswear sourcing & development
49. How can I contact you?
Do you have a question or want to become a partner, sponsor, advisor or maybe a supporter? Please feel free to contact us through the website contact form or:
1012 DZ Amsterdam
1013 JH Amsterdam
50. How can I stay up to date with KLABU news?
Connect with us on Instagram (@theklabu), Facebook (@theklabu), YouTube (@theklabu) or Twitter. Use the hashtags #klabu and #jointheklabu to share stories, videos and articles and keep up to date with the latest news.
You can also sign up in the footer below for our newsletter to receive updates and breaking news.
51. Is KLABU looking for partners?
Yes please! Our ambition is to grow fast and multiply our impact, so we need to team up with others. We are very fortunate to have partnered with amazing companies and organisations so far, and are always looking for opportunities to join forces.
52. My company would like to collaborate with KLABU, how does this work?
Great! Please send us a message in the contact form below or send us an email at email@example.com. We will get in touch as soon as possible.