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Reflecting on a decade of promoting peace through sport

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Reflecting on a decade of promoting peace through sport

On the advent of Peace and Sport’s ten-year anniversary celebrations, sportanddev.org caught up with the organisation's founder, Joël Bouzou.

What has Peace and Sport’s biggest achievement been in the last ten years?

During the decade in which we have been active, we have dedicated ourselves to promoting the peace through sport movement.

We have held, our #WhiteCard campaign annually, which this year reached more than 43 million people worldwide. Centred on 6 April, the United Nation’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), the campaign asks people from all walks of life to snap a selfie with a white card and share it to social media.  Through the use of a universal #WhiteCard we have been able to turn millions of people into ambassadors for peace.

One project that has sat particularly close to our hearts over the last ten years has been the Friendship Games, of which we have organised eight editions. The games are a celebration of sport set in the borderlands between Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo that bring together both children and athletes from the three war-torn nations and promote stronger inter-cultural dialogue between them.

During our many field projects, we have tried to promote a new concept we coined as “Sport Simple Solutions”. The initiative promotes the values of peace by encouraging the use of basic or handmade sports equipment in communities that are often unable to afford expensive or advanced apparatus. This summer, during the Friendship Games, we used old tires, foam and rope to make a “Sport Simple” boxing ring and we aim to show that sport can be made simple for all anywhere in the world.

If you could pick one highlight from the Peace and Sport Forum during that time, what would it be and why?

The Peace and Sport International Forum is the largest global event convening the world of sport for peace. Each year, the forum has united more than 600 major decision-makers from over 110 countries including head of state, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, sports governing bodies and high-level athletes, international organisations, NGOs and academics.

This year, Peace and Sport will be celebrating its tenth birthday, and to do so, we will be holding an anniversary edition of our Peace and Sport International Forum. Therefore, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and social business pioneer Professor Muhammad Yunus, together with UEFA Champions League winner, four-time Premier League Champion and Champion for Peace Didier Drogba, will be speakers for the Peace and Sport 10-Year Gala on 7 December.

 I warmly invite the readers of sportanddev.org to register to this exceptional evening.

What does the future hold for Peace and Sport? What is your vision for where the organisation will be on its 20th anniversary?

In 2018, Peace and Sport will keep promoting activities in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan with the aim of increasing the quality and quantity of sporting activities in the camp. Sport can play a healing role for refugee children, helping to address education as well as social and developmental needs. These activities are part of the “Live Together” programme in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the NGOs operating in the camp, and with the support of the Jordan Olympic Committee.

The strength of the “Live Together” programme is that it bridges all stakeholders together. It is the first time that various international federations will work side by side for social development. Also, NGOs and federations will learn from each other’s expertise, and will work together to benefit refugees.

We are particularly interested in working on topics related to refugees, children living in vulnerable areas as well as the promotion of gender equity. We will implement our “Sport Simple Solutions” methodology to all our development project

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017 - 15:42

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