Refugee Cup hoping to build bridges in Brazil22 March 2017

CopadosRefugiados,theonlyrefugeecupinBrazil,willkick-offonSunday26MarchinPortoAlegretohighlightthecontributionofrefugeesandasylumseekersinthecountry.

110 athletes will represent their countries of origin and play football to shed light on how sport can foster the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers.

Copa dos Refugiados is a tournament annually held in São Paulo, first organised in 2014 after the country hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup. On Sunday it will make its debut in Porto Alegre to coincide with the city’s 245th anniversary celebrations.

The event is organised by the Congolese refugee and África do Coração founder Jean Karumba. During this edition, other initiatives will be running alongside the main tournament, including a walk and a film screening for refugee women and children, a fashion show organised by refugees, food tastings, a storytelling evening event, and smaller football tournaments.

In addition to this, a panini-style album will share the CVs of refugees to help them find a job. Medical exams and advice on legal rights will also be provided for free.

A crowd-funding initiative is running on the website Vakinha to help fund the event. Organisers have invited the general public to attend the tournament and donate food and toys.