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Refugees at Tongogara Refugee Settlement commend government for implementing an inclusive sports project

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

The government through a local development partner is implementing a 3-year sports project at Tongogara Refugee Settlement in Chipinge as part of efforts to improve their inclusion in local sports disciplines.

Refugee leaders at Tongogara Refugee Settlement in Chipinge have expressed gratitude to the government for their inclusion in the country’s socio-economic programmes.

The sports project dubbed ‘Sport for Refugees’ Integration, Transformation and Empowerment (SPRITE) is being implemented by a local development partner, Tambai Zimbabwe in collaboration with the government.

“As the refugee community, we are grateful that we are not being left behind. We have seen refugees shining at global scale, for example, Real Madrid star Edward Camavinga, due to the promotion of sports activities in refugee camps. We hope this project will promote talent and expose it,” said a community member.

Another said, “As a youth leader here at Tongogara Refugee Settlement, I am delighted that the government of Zimbabwe continues to take care of our needs. The youths constitute the largest number here so the introduction of a stand-alone sports project will go a long way in identifying and nurturing local talents.”

The local leadership thanked the government for implementing inclusive social and economic projects in the Settlement.

Mutema-Musikavanhu legislator, Honourable Angeline Gata said, “We are happy with the whole of government approach happening in this settlement. I have seen the 150 hectares under irrigation implemented through the Ministry of Lands, the construction of a classroom block through devolution and now the coming on board of a new partner Tambai Zimbabwe which is implementing a 3-year sports programme. We are happy that indeed, no one and no place is being left behind.”

“As long as we are in Africa we are at home. Our government is doing its best to improve the welfare of refugees and as such, we expect our brothers and sisters to abide by the laws of this country,” added traditional leader, Chief Musikavanhu.

Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution; Advocate Misheck Mugadza reiterated the government’s commitment towards improving the welfare of refugees.

“Our capable President Emmerson Mnangagwa is always on record saying that no one and no place should be left behind. What is happening at this settlement is evidence enough of that commitment. There are a wide range of economic and social projects being implemented here including sports. The introduction of a sports-specific project completes the cycle and as government, we will continue to support this initiative so that refugees are afforded the chance to participate at local, national and global scale.”

Tongogara Refugee Settlement is home to over 15 000 refugees and asylum seekers.

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