Introducing the Olympic Refugee Team, from war to glory
As more than 200 countries compete at the Olympic, it is the 10 member team that is being celebrated for more than its sporting accomplishments.
The Refugee Olympic Team (ROT), formed from members who fled from South Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, was announced in March by the International Olympic Commission.
Yusra Mardini pushed a sinking dinghy across the Aegean Sea, saving 20 lives including her own. A year later, after fleeing Syria at 17, Mardini is now an Olympic swimmer.
“We were the only four who knew how to swim. I had one hand with the rope attached to the boat as I moved my two legs and one arm. It was three and half hours in cold water.”
She joins fellow swimmer Rami Anis, 25, who fled Syria in an inflatable dingy. “I hope to convey a nice image about the world’s refugees,” he said.
He achieved just that when he recorded his personal best time for the 100m freestyle heat on 9 August, which was met with a standing ovation.
To read more about the Refugee Olympic Team, visit the Welsh Centre for International Affairs Facebook page, where we will be introducing each member of the ROT, or read the blog.
Wales remembers the conscientious objectors of WW1
The bravery of more than 900 men from Wales who objected to fighting in WW1 has been celebrated and honoured with a register of conscientious objectors.
When military conscription was introduced in 1916, many objectors were imprisoned for their views. Now 100 years on, those very men have been celebrated as the ‘register of conscientious objectors’ was unveiled to the public on 4 August, at the National Eisteddfod, as part of the Heritage Lottery funded ‘Wales for Peace’ project, supported by the Welsh Government’s Wales Remembers programme.
Craig Owen, Head of Wales for Peace at the Welsh Centre for International Affairs said:
“Anti-war movements today are an integral part of society and democracy. But in WW1, objectors to war had to display incredible bravery and endure major hardships to stand up for their beliefs.
This user-friendly register we hope will help Welsh communities, schools and students to research and unlock the hidden histories of these conscientious objectors from across Wales through WW1.”
The database, collated from newspaper cuttings, personal recollections and letters, allows users to search names and reasons for objecting. It will go live online from 1 September, in time for the upcoming academic year.
For more information about the register of conscientious objectors click here.