The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched a new
campaign that uses the central tenets of ‘Olympism’ to provide sustainable
solar-powered light to refugees in Rwanda.
The Become the Light
campaign encourages people to embody the Olympic spirit and ‘donate’ their
physical activity, linking up their fitness apps with the Olympic+ channel,
which then records these contributions as ‘sparks’.
These ‘sparks’ will be tallied up and once an unspecified
goal is achieved, the IOC will make a donation to UNHCR, the UN Refugee
Agency, to light up streets, households and sports areas at the Mahama Refugee
Camp in Rwanda, assisting more than 55,000 refugees.
Become the Light’s launch
has been timed to coincide with the beginning of the 2018 Winter Olympics in
Pyeongchang, South Korea and continues the theme of ‘light’ as embodied by the
The ‘light’ represents the Olympic values
of excellence, friendship and respect. Three videos have been produced for the
campaign, each one ending with a call to action for audience members to sign up
through the Olympic channel campaign hub.
The videos demonstrate how the
‘inspirational achievements of athletes and the Olympic spirit can motivate
people around the world to ‘Become The Light’ and act as beacons of
Thomas Bach, president of the
International Olympic Committee, said: ‘Sport is about building bridges,
bringing people together in the spirit of friendship and respect. In a world of
uncertainties, the message that our shared humanity is greater than the forces
that divide us is more relevant than ever before. Athletes carry the light and
inspire us, giving us all hope that a better world is possible. We are pleased
to be able to continue our close cooperation with UNHCR and our support for
refugees as part of this campaign.’
The campaign follows the adoption of the
Olympic Truce Resolution by all UN Member States on 13 November, which commits
to supporting the safe passage of athletes and all participants to the Winter
Games and promoting diplomatic solutions to conflicts around the world, in line
with the ancient Greek tradition of the Olympic Truce, ‘Ekecheiria’.