LOOKING BACK AT 2022
End of year greetings from everyone here at KLABU! 2022 brought us many moments to be thankful for, and since none of it would be possible without you – our supporters – we’d like to share a few of them with you.
The KLABU clubhouse in Kalobeyei in Kenya has grown into a thriving hub, led entirely by the refugee managers Sadumba, Nyagoa, Jean Marie and Paul who host regular community sports, music and dance events, even co-organising a successful week of coaching with the Dutch football association, the KNVB.
We opened a new clubhouse in Lesvos, Greece, where we - together with Movement on the Ground - work directly with the residents of the camp, who manage their own clubhouse, providing access to sports equipment, music and broadcast sports matches to 1500 asylum seekers from 18 countries.Read more
Closer to home, we launched a new project in Ter Apel, our second on Dutch soil, creating a safe space for unaccompanied minors to play, make friends and have fun after arriving in the Netherlands’ largest reception centre for those seeking asylum. We work closely together with COA.Read more
A club centre and clubhouse on wheels in Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest refugee camp located in Bangladesh, launched this spring. The UNHCR-supported partnership with Paris Saint-Germain, Friendship NGO, Solarkiosk and Wilde Ganzen reaches up to 10,000 Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi young people each week.Read more
This year, we welcomed over 400 individuals to our weekly social workouts in Amsterdam. Open to people from all backgrounds and walks of life, our workouts bring together a mix of refugees, asylum seekers, expats and locals.Read more
KLABU was welcomed on stage at TEDx after becoming finalists of the TEDx Impact Program. Our talk, ‘How sport can help rebuild lives in refugee camps’ is available to watch on YouTube.Watch
A first KLABU win in a professional tournament! KLABU ambassador and Dutch tennis star, Robin Haase wore KLABU as he won the doubles trophy at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
The new Neymar Jr
The story of South Sudanese refugee Mike, a talented footballer at the KLABU in Kalobeyei, was shared on the football platform 433. His inspiring tale of resilience, talent and hope that earned him the nickname “the new Neymar Jr”, has been shared with over 55 million followers.Watch
KLABU x Oedipus
KLABU and Oedipus came together to celebrate our colourful community of newcomers and locals in Amsterdam. The collaboration kicked off with a fun-filled day brought together by sports, art and music at Skatecafe in Amsterdam-Noord. A limited edition of six colourful styles captured the the spirit and energy of the collaboration - all sold out.
Riders For Refugees
On World Refugee Day, KLABU united bikers to raise 40,000 euros during the first "Riders For Refugees" event on the Dam Square in Amsterdam, organised together with Tosti Creative and supported by Basic-Fit, Dirk van den Broek and media.
KLABU at the United Nations 🇺🇳
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, brought together governments, refugee representatives, NGOs and several sports organisations including KLABU to discuss how to create better access to work, education, health and social care for the staggering 103 million people who are now forcibly displaced - with a clear aim to turn dialogue into action!
A big honour to be recognised as of the few sports for good organisations taking part.
Since the start of this year, 100% of the polyester used in the manufacture of new KLABU sports shirts was made from recycled materials. In 2023, we’ll continue taking steps to create more sustainable and long-lasting products that help fund our sports projects for refugees.
We proudly welcome and celebrate 65 teams and companies and many thousands of new as well as returning individuals who support and wear KLABU on and off the pitch. Helping us improve access to sport for refugees, and become financially more independent.More info
Despite the above achievements, of which we are very proud, 2022 has also led to several challenges. The biggest one being funding and team.
We are proud to work very grassroots with a team of only 4 fulltime employees and several freelancers, interns and volunteers in Amsterdam, and with local teams of refugees and host community members at the clubhouse locations in the camps. The flip side of being so grassroots however is that many of us take on board a huge amount of work - partly because we are so passionate about the cause, but mostly because we simply cannot afford to hire more people.
We are actually running two organisations: the Foundation for the projects in the camps, and the social enterprise for the sportswear, and although they make each other stronger, running both organisations with a handful of people sometimes is a lot, especially given that both are so ambitious.
It is the goal of the social enterprise to in-time make larger donations to the Foundation less needed, but the current reality is that the Foundation does need external support in order to setup and run clubhouses in refugee camps, and to build a solid team. We do receive a lot of support, but most is in-kind. We are hopeful that we will be better placed to find the financial injections we need now that our impact is growing rapidly.
As a team, we are experiencing what KLABU means to many people who are rebuilding their lives in the most challenging conditions. Being able to contribute to their better future is the biggest reward we can imagine and keeps us going with unbeatable spirit, every day.
A big thank you to all of our 2022 volunteers, interns, freelancers, partners, supporters, supervisory board, angels and all other individuals and organisations including:
24Lesbos, 433, Adwise, Anton Jurgens Fonds, ApenkooiGym, Artolution, Avery Dennison, BAM Berlin, Basic-Fit, Build in Amsterdam, Cloverleaf Foundation, COA, CoLab Consulting, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, De Roos Advocaten, Dentsu, Dept Agency, Dirk van den Broek, EA Sports, eL Seed, ESPN, Etrias, EY, Flexport.org, Fred Foundation, Friendship SPO, Fyron, HERC Agency, HGC, Gemeente Amsterdam, Instituto Vini Jr, Jenaplan Wittevrouwen, Kansfonds, KNR-PIN, KNVB, Loods121, Mentha, Meta, Movement on the Ground, MVRDV, Nederlandse Loterij, Nike, Numblees, Oedipus, OWOW Agency, Paris Saint-Germain, Rabo Foundation, RDO Balije van Utrecht, Solarkiosk, Smove, Stadsgoed, State of Football, Stichting AKBHHH, Stichting Boschhuysen, Stichting DOEN, Studio Socrates, Tchai, Teslin, The Brand Father, The Gardeners, The Kennedys and Wieden+Kennedy, The Lutheran World Federation, The Present, The Social Handshake, Tosti Creative, TPV Cares, Twelve, Twentyfor, UEFA Foundation for Children, UNHCR the UN Refugee Agency, Up To Do Good, Vacature Via, VSBfonds, Wilde Ganzen, Wink Agency, Zalando, ZERO, and all other individuals and organisations who are dedicating time, funds and energy to support the unbeatable spirit!