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Olympic Committee Taps Public to Bring Solar-Powered Lighting Solutions to Refugee Camps

Image credit: International Olympic Committee

Supporting its vision of building a better world through sport, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched a new integrated brand campaign, Become The Light, which encourages people to get active and act as beacons of positivity.

The campaign uses light as the symbolic representation of the Olympic values. Through a series of public service announcements, the campaign demonstrates how the achievements of athletes and the Olympic spirit can motivate people around the world to “Become the Light.” It includes a series of inspirational films featuring athletes emanating light while competing in winter sports.

The films, which are inspired by the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, end with a call to action, inviting everyone to make a “donation” of their physical activity on the Olympic Channel. The IOC will convert recorded activity into tangible support for refugees by providing sustainable, solar-powered lighting solutions for the Mahama Refugee Camp in Rwanda, in cooperation with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

“Sport is about building bridges, bringing people together in the spirit of friendship and respect,” said Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee. “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.”

Sport can be a lifeline for young refugees uprooted by conflict and violence, forced to abandon their homes, communities and even their families. Sport restores childhood. It helps to heal and restore a sense of normalcy, offering a safe space where children can grow, learn and develop. By providing sustainable, solar powered lighting in refugee camps, we can boost sport and education opportunities for young refugees,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The campaign comes just months before the kickoff of the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang 2018 and coincides with the Olympic Torch Relay around the host country, the Republic of Korea. What’s more, the launch follows the adoption of the Olympic Torch Resolution by all UN Member States on November 13 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Resolution provides a commitment to support the safe passage of athletes and all participants of the Olympic Winter Games and to promote diplomatic solutions to conflicts around the world, in line with the ancient Greek tradition of the Olympic Truce, “Ekecheiria.”

The Olympic Channel serves as the main digital platform for the campaign. The public can sign up through Olympic+ directly on the campaign homepage, connect their fitness trackers and record their physical contribution as “sparks.” Participants can also compare their activity to the overall Olympic+ Community, their friends and Olympians.

The “Become The Light” campaign was developed by Publicis London and digital specialists POKE. The PSA films were directed by Jaron Albertin and produced by Smuggler Films, while the thirty second digital trailer and seven-minute documentary were directed by Max Cutting and produced by Ceen Studio.


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