Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies has been made United Nations Refugee Ambassador as he becomes the first football player to be appointed in the role.

Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies became the first footballer to be appointed as a UN special ambassador to help refugees on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old, who was born in a refugee camp in Ghana before emigrating to Canada, has been appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency.

“My own experiences make me want to speak up for refugees, to share their stories and to help make a difference,” Davies said.

“Refugees need our support to survive, but also access to education and sports, so they can fulfil their potential and truly thrive.”

The left-back who represents Canada won the UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich last season and has already won every trophy at the domestic level as Bayern went on to win 6 out of the 6 tournaments they participated in.

Davies began supporting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2020, when he took part in a live-stream gaming tournament and last month, he helped launch a Canadian Government campaign to promote access to quality education for refugees.

Alphonso Davies says he was saved from a life of guns and fighting by his parents’ decision to flee war in Liberia and become refugees in Ghana. He¬†was born in a refugee camp and spent the first five years of his life there before his family shifted to Canada.

Now one of the best young players in the world, known for his outstanding contribution to Bayern’s 2019-20 campaign, Davies is the first footballer and first Canadian to become an ambassador for the United Nations refugee charity UNHCR.

“My parents told me about the war that was going on in Liberia,” he said. “In that situation there are only two opportunities, either be part of the war or get out.

“My parents had no intention of carrying guns and shooting guns. I am happy they chose to get out.”

Even though he does not remember much of the 5 years he spent when born in the camp in Ghana, Davies recalls days when there were struggles to find food and water.

“It was a tough road,” he said. “And it was amazing when they [Davies’ parents] were accepted for a resettlement programme. I can visualise the smiles on their faces knowing they were going to a better life.”

Jordyn Huitema

Alphonso Davies’ partner Jordyn Huitema is one of the top players in women’s football as well. (Photo by Alex Caparros – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Yet Davies is aware refugees, even once resettled, can be targets for racism, as he was in December after his partner, Canada women’s international and Paris Saint-Germain player Jordyn Huitema, posted a picture of the pair on social media.

“It is very important [to get rid of the stigma around refugees],” he said.

“As a footballer, I have encountered racism not too long ago. It is tough, not even being the colour I am but being resettled as well.

“It is about raising awareness because there are people out there who really don’t care. They say what they want. Those are the people we are trying to change and open their eyes to see we are all human beings no matter where you come from and we can all help each other as much as possible.”

Davies has already helped launch a Canadian government campaign ‘Together for Learning’ to promote access to quality education for refugees, and he intends to visit the area where he spent his first few years as soon as possible.

At some point, he also wants to meet members of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic refugee team that is preparing to compete in Tokyo this year.

In December 2020, Davies became the first footballer to win Canada’s athlete of the year prize.

“My mum wasn’t too fond of the situation because I was going to Vancouver, by myself, at 14 years of age and schooling is a big one for my parents because they wanted me to have something to fall back on,” he said when asked about how it was to move to Vancouver to play football when so young.

“I promised my parents I would stay the same and I wouldn’t change. I am happy they let me go and glad it worked out.

“But I will never forget where I came from and I want my story to give hope and excitement for other refugees to say, if he can do it, I can do it too.”

Alphonso Davies – you are truly an inspiration for all!