On average, refugees spend 17 years living in camps.
For some that's their whole childhood, for others the prime of their adult lives, and for others the final years of theirs.
Instead of enjoying these crucial years of their lives, refugees are instead simply forced to wait. Wait to return home safely, wait to be resettled in a third country, wait to enjoy life. In these 17 years of waiting, the potential and talent of young people is wasted.
While NGOs often provide food, housing, medical care and educational support in refugee camps there's usually no structural solutions for sports and other joyful community activities.
Irrespective of circumstances, 90min's 'Football Tackles' charity of the week KLABU believe that these young people have hopes and dreams beyond just survival.
And this is where KLABU sees an opportunity to add value to a refugee's life, using the power of sport to (re)ignite the spirit of refugees.
How they do that is through building sports clubs in refugee camps to help refugees rebuild their lives. KLABU make way for moments of play to take the stage, allowing refugees to break down barriers, build confidence and create friendships - through the power of sport, together on the field.
This opportunity to play sports allows these people to not only survive, but also live.
The first of these sports clubs opened in the Kalobeyei Settlement in Kenya - home to over 40,000 refugees, of which almost 70% are 18 or younger. Built with help from local artisans and project partners the NGOs LWF and Roof For Humanity, KLABU created the first ever clubhouse within the settlement.
"KLABU is a place for everyone, young and old, men and women. When we wear our club shirt, we feel the Kalobeyei Spirit."- Kalobeyei resident
The clubhouse itself has turned into a social centre with the introduction of TV and Wifi allowing the Kalobeyei community to broadcast football matches, play games like FIFA on a gaming console and connect online with beloved ones in home countries.
But not only did KLABU build a clubhouse however, they also created a club.
Inspired by the people who make Kalobeyei so special, the first KLABU home and away kit is called the ‘Kalobeyei Spirit’, celebrating the human spirit and potential of the refugee and host community in Kalobeyei. This kit (which you can purchase here) is now worn by teams such as Kedong FC, Queens FC and Kinati FC, individual members like Nancy, Emile, Lillian and also by people around the world.
This model of creating clubs with their own identities has been a hugely successful one for KLABU, and one that's made possible by selling the unique sportswear, designed for each refugee camp they help, online. The more sportswear that's sold, the more clubhouses that can be built around the world, and therefore more young refugees can gain invaluable access to sports.
Half the profits from sales go to the KLABU Foundation to maintain the sports clubs in refugee camps, while the other half is reinvested to increase the brand’s impact. This business model gives KALBU a level of independence - instead of being fully reliant on (one-off) donations and funding from sponsors, KLABU want to become a healthy organisation that can have long-term impact.
And on top of that, the more people wearing KLABU, the bigger the club grows and the further the impact reaches.
If you would like to help grow KLABU and its impact on the lives of young refugees across the world, you can do so by purchasing their sportswear here, or if you work for a company or have a five-a-side team in dire need of some fresh jerseys, you can order custom KLABU ones here.