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Empowering for social inclusion, when sports bring social change

Copyrights: engage

Empowering for social inclusion, when sports bring social change

Leading through Sports: A more Inclusive Nepal Through the Power of Sports was released last year and this year “Empowering for Social Inclusion, When Sports bring social change” follows.

On the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, ENGAGE launched, during a special event hosted by H.E Dr Jorg Frieden, Ambassador of Switzerland in Nepal, the new resource booklet: “Empowering for Social Inclusion, When Sports bring social change”. It was a part of the outreach efforts of the second edition of Turkish Airlines ENGAGE Empowering League, the premier wheelchair basketball competition in Nepal.

Support by the Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal, both publications highlight the positive role sports can play in the lives of youth with disabilities because it directly supports their process of self-empowerment.

Leading through Sports focused on offering student friendly insights on disabilities along with case studies of international and national adaptive sports athletes. The “Empowering for Social Inclusion” booklet is centred on ways youths living in vulnerable status can escape from marginalization and isolation.

A more inclusive society will happen if equity-based measures will be put in place for example with a reserved quota for vulnerable and marginalized groups or actions like free education or scholarships.

The private sector can also play a very important role by offering tailor made internship opportunities for such youths.

Yet even with the best measures in place, social change will not happen if the same youths are not taking a stand or decide to step in and become active members of the society.

Therefore it is very important for the youth to find their passion and set high professional goals, learning on how to master their passions.

Sport playing and volunteering are just two effective ways to help the vulnerable youth to discover their potential and embark themselves on a process of self-development.

Structure of the booklet

“Empowering for Social Inclusion” counts three sections.

The first, Dynamics of Social Inclusion, tries to understand the dynamics underpinning of social exclusion, offering a theory of change based on equity and active efforts by youths living in vulnerable status that can be part of the solution and be active agents of change.

The second, Sports for Change, offers an overview of the role sports can play to create more inclusiveness while also enhancing wellbeings. The section contains inspirational stories from around the world, including an interview to Major Pawan Ghimire, the founder of the Cricket Association of the Blind, who shares the challenges and opportunities of adaptive sports in Nepal along with a follow up story on Laxmi Kunwal, one of the two athletes from Nepal who competed in the Paralympics in Rio.

The reader will find an interview with Nicolai Zeltinger, head coach of German wheelchair basketball male team. In addition to a story by Briantea84, a winning wheelchair basketball team in Europe confirming how competitive adaptive sports enormously contribute in creating more awareness on disability rights.

There will also be a section containing the story of coach Hughes of University of Arizona women’s wheelchair basketball team and a feature by Jess Markt explaining what he is doing around the world with the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The last section, A Pathway for Self Development offers ideas on how a vulnerable youth, if adequately supported, will be able to thrive.

The case study of a local wheelchair basketball club in Nepal, the Jawalakhel Wheelchair Sport Club, shows how crucial peer counselling and peer support can be in supporting vulnerable youths.

The author is the co-founder of ENGAGE,


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Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 09:28


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