The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Nepal marked the first-ever participation of a refugee team in the Rio Olympics by organizing various sporting events for refugees on August 18 at Nepal Police Training Academy.
Olympian Deepak Bista, attended the event and cheered on hundreds of refugees of diverse nationalities and local youth, who competed in football, athletics, badminton and table tennis, while celebrating the spirit of sportsmanship and diversity in Kathmandu.
“The Rio Olympics has sent a strong message to the world — that refugees are resilient and ready to overcome obstacles to achieve success,” said Bista, who represented Nepal in taekwondo in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“The refugee team in the Olympic Games is a story of hope and inspiration for people all over the world,” he said. Bista is the most decorated athlete in Nepal’s history with four consecutive goal medals in the South Asian Games and two bronze medals in Asian Games.
Ten athletes from four countries are competing as part of the Refugee Team under the Olympic flag in Rio de Janiero. Among them are two swimmers from Syria, two judo competitors from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and six runners from Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Addressing the event, UNHCR Representative Kevin J. Allen said,”Today’s event is about humanity and solidarity — bringing together Nepalese and refugee youth to engage in sport, while transcending nationality and the borders which sometimes divide us.”
On Saturday, 13 August, hundreds of Bhutanese refugees and local residents in Damak in eastern Nepal, joined forces in a 7.5 kilometer mini-marathon to celebrate community and commemorate the Refugee Olympic team.
The sports activities coincide with the launch of UNHCR’s “With Refugees Campaign” – a global call for action to ensure that every refugee child gets an education, that every refugee family has somewhere safe to live, and that every refugee can work and learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.
The signatures of support collected from the campaign will be presented to the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants on 19 September in New York.
“Since late 2007, UNHCR in Nepal has helped more than 104,000 refugees from Bhutan start new lives in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The agency also carries out a range of protection and assistance programmes for those Bhutanese refugees who remain in Nepal, with increasing focus on promoting self-reliance and durable solutions outside the context of resettlement,” said a press release issued by Deepesh Das Shrestha, Senior External Relations Associate UNHCR, Kathmandu, Nepal.
UNHCR’s work in Nepal also includes providing protection and assistance to Tibetan refugees, urban refugees of different nationalities and helping find solutions for people without access to citizenship certificates.
Indian Government Sponsors Training For Nepalese Engineer
Indian Government sponsors a training-cum-observation tour for the Department of Roads Engineers.
A group of 15 engineers from the Department of Roads, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport finished their two weeks training-cum-observation tour organized by the Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE) Noida with the financial support of the Indian Government.
During the two weeks period, the engineers were exposed to the best practices adopted in the road transport sector in India. The participants were given presentations on road development scenario in India, legal/regulatory framework, preparation of feasibility reports for PPP/EPC projects and related studies, PPP policy framework and guidelines, tolling systems, Manuals for 2-lane and 4-lane highways etc.
“The participants also went for on-site inspection and educational tour to the major Indian landmarks in the road sectorsuch as Yamuna Expressway (Delhi-Agra), Mumbai-Pune Expressway, Worli-Bandra Sea Link, Bangalore Elevated Corridor and Bangalore-Mysore Highways etc. During these visits the participants learnt about the systems and held discussions on various aspects of theseprojects including operation and maintenance issues,” said a press release issued by Indian Embassy.
This training-cum-observation program for the engineers of the Department of Roads, Govt. of Nepal was organized under India-Nepal Economic Cooperation Program which has an outlay of over NRs 76 billion covering more than 533 projects in Nepal spread over almost all districts of Nepal in the sectors like education, health, physical infrastructure and historical-cultural sites being undertaken as per local needs and aspirations.