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Fostering social cohesion through sport in Kenya

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Fostering social cohesion through sport in Kenya

The Sport for Development in Africa project provides a policy framework to promote social cohesion through sport in Kenya.

Launched in 2014, the Regional Project ‘Sport for Development in Africa’ (S4DA) mainstreams sport as a tool for achieving sustainable development goals in selected African countries on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Building on the great enthusiasm for sport in Africa, together with its partners S4DA creates safe spaces by constructing sports grounds; capacitates coaches and teachers in offering quality value-based sport activities, following the do-no harm and safeguarding in sport principles; advises governments and other partner organisations on fostering youth development through sport; and encourages private sector engagement to promote corporate social responsibility.

In Kenya, S4DA fosters social cohesion amongst refugees and host communities. Turkana County hosts more than 200,000 refugees from various countries across the region. Conflicts amongst refugees and host communities are caused by cultural differences, scarcity of resources, and limited opportunities. S4DA uses sport as a tool to promote peace while creating a sense of solidarity that transcends ethnic and social boundaries. Joint sporting activities provide a safe and fun environment to create a sense of belonging, especially amongst children and youth. So far, over 100 community coaches and sports teachers were capacitated in using S4D methodologies in their sporting activities. More than 4,000 children and youth attend regular S4D sessions. This provides a platform to learn from one another building mutual trust and fostering integration and thereby building a foundation for peaceful coexistence.

On a national level, S4DA has provided technical and financial support to the Ministry of Education in the development of the country’s first ever policy on Physical Education and Sport for Basic Education, which was launched on 9 June 2021. The main objective of this policy is to mainstream the provision of P.E. and sport in all learning institutions. It embraces sport as an enabler of sustainable development and a tool for promoting the holistic development of all learners. Through that they acquire core competencies such as communication, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, thus empowering them to become agents of change. The policy also underscores the important role of P.E. and sport in fostering peace and social cohesion in society.

"The implementation will go a long way in the realization of the national goals of education. It's also aligned to the Competence Based Curriculum, which provides arts and sport as one of the career pathways," noted Prof. George Magoha, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education.

As part of the dissemination and communication strategy, S4DA and partners developed IEC materials to raise awareness on the importance of P.E. and sport. The animated video clip can be accessed in English, with sign language interpretation and Kiswahili on the Sport for Development YouTube channel here. The poster can be found here. The policy document can be downloaded from the ministry’s website here.

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Article type

News

Author

Mariam Ibrahim

Published

Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 11:44