IOM - International Organization for Migration

04/19/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/19/2024 02:46

Mo Farah, Olympic Gold Medalist, to Make Landmark Visit to Kenya as First IOM Global Goodwill Ambassador

19 April 2024

Mo Farah, Olympic Gold Medalist, to Make Landmark Visit to Kenya as First IOM Global Goodwill Ambassador 

Sir Mo Farah leads the way as IOM's first Global Goodwill Ambassador, proving that individuals can be catalysts for change. Photo: IOM/Emilia Lixi

Nairobi/Geneva - The International Organization for Migration (IOM)'s first Global Goodwill Ambassador Sir Mo Farah will be in Kenya for his inaugural visit in his role with IOM.  

The Olympic gold medalist and six-time long-distance world championship runner will be raising awareness and increasing support for the needs and aspirations of migrants in Kenya and advocating for sport as a tool to build confidence and integration. 

Over his three-day visit, from 21 to 23 April, Mo Farah, a survivor of human trafficking, will witness first-hand the impact of IOM's humanitarian and development work and meet with migrants, local authorities, and civil society, among others.  

"It's an honour to return to Kenya on my first official visit as IOM Global Goodwill Ambassador, to meet with people in the region I was born in and share the power of sport - how it transforms migrants' lives, unites people from different backgrounds, and builds confidence and communities," said Mo Farah. 

Kenya hosts over one million migrants and over half a million registered refugees affected by conflict, climate change, and economic hardships from across the continent. With the emerging trend in climate-induced mobility in the region, Kenya, as a country of origin, transit, and destination, is playing a crucial role in ensuring the protection of migrants and facilitating regular pathways for all, especially young people. 

"As an extraordinarily successful Olympic athlete who has experienced both the challenges and joys of migration, Mo Farah is uniquely positioned to raise awareness of how to include migrants in societies around the world using sport as one tool to make that happen," said IOM Director General Amy Pope.  

Sharon Dimanche, Chief of Mission with IOM Kenya, said: "I am delighted to welcome Sir Mo Farah to Kenya. During his visit, we will inaugurate the 'Mo Farah Centre,' a digital library at the Mathare Youth Sports Association, and the 'Mo Farah Cup,' an annual tournament. Through these initiatives, young people in Kenya can pursue economic empowerment and development through sports." 

The 'Mo Farah Cup' tournament will include migrants, refugees, and host communities, and raise awareness of sport as a tool for promoting social cohesion and advocate for sport mobility as an alternative pathway for youth economic empowerment. Mo Farah will also run a symbolic sprint with youth, migrants, and refugees at the Kakuma-Kalobeyei resettlement in Turkana.  

Notes to Editors 

For more on this visit, follow @Mo_Farah, @UNMigration, and @IOMKenya on Twitter, as well as other social media platforms, where photos and videos will be posted.  

Don't forget to use the hashtags #IOMOntheMove and #ScoreWithMo4Migration to show your support and appreciation for Mo Farah's work as an IOM Global Goodwill Ambassador. 

IOM Kenya works on six thematic areas, namely: 

  1. Labour Migration and Migrant Protection 
  2. Immigration and Border Governance 
  3. Resettlement and Movement Management 
  4. Migration Health 
  5. Recovery and Resilience 
  6. Data, Research, and Policy 


For more on IOM's Goodwill Ambassador Programme, please visit:


For media inquiries, please contact: 

In Nairobi: Eva Noma Sibanda, [email protected]

In Geneva: Zoe Brennan, [email protected] and Shirley Camia, [email protected]