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Sports Aid Network

Promoting peace through sports tournaments for refugees in Uganda.

Sports Aid Network is an international charity passionate about enriching the lives of less fortunate young people in the developing world through sports. We catalyse a collaborative response to the complex sports needs of underprivileged communities and support the rehabilitation and transformation of youth in post conflict and post trauma regions around the world through sports.

We firmly stand as part of the sporting world that pledged support for refugees, ahead of the Global Refugee Forum that took  place on 16, 17 and 18 December 2019 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva to provide sporting opportunities to young refugees.

We are actively dedicated to:

  1. Promoting and ensuring access for all refugees, without distinction of any kind, to safe and inclusive sporting facilities.
  2. Increasing availability and access to organised sports and sport-based initiatives for refugee and hosting communities, actively considering age, gender, ability and other diversity needs.
  3. Promoting and facilitating equal access to and participation of refugees in sporting events and competitions at all levels.

Photo: Sports Aid Network

In celebration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6 April 2020, we shall hold tournaments on 4 and 10 April in Palabek and Abdjumani refugee settlements respectively. The tournament on 4 April will be for primary school children under the age of 14 years. We shall have 8 teams from different camp zones competing against each other.

On 10 April we shall have an under 18 tournament in Abjumani. It will bring together teams from 6 different  zones for both men and women to compete in soccer and netball. Sport is a great peace factor. When teams face each other in refugee camps, they learn to foster respect, reconciliation and friendship.

From 26-29 April we shall be holding a workshop for sports coaches and instructors in the refugee settlements on life skills and educating young people in the refugee settlements ages 15 to 25 into being youth leaders who are capable of coaching young kids. This will be conducted in conjunction with Diego, a social sciences professional from Netherlands that will be visiting and volunteering with us right from 25 April the day of his arrival to 1 May, the day he will depart back home.  

From 8-10 May we shall have trainings, coaching and tournament sessions in Abjumani refugee settlements with 8 volunteers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. They will be teaching refugees new games, and provide them with an opportunity to compete thereafter. We shall have different sports during these sessions ranging from soccer, netball, jump rope, lacrosse, baseball, spikeball and dodgeball.

Due to the tribal differences between the Dinka, Madi, Kuku, Kakwa, Nuer and Zande from South Sudan, sports has been used as a universal language and a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across boundaries, cultures and religions. Its intrinsic values such as teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game as understood all over the world and can be harnessed in the advancement of solidarity, social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.

Sport is an important enabler of sustainable development. We recognise the growing contribution it makes to the realisation of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect, and the contributions it makes to the empowerment of women and of young people, individuals and communities as well as to health, education and social inclusion objectives.

Join us today in promoting sports for peace and development. Although sports alone cannot stop or solve an acute conflict, it represents a flexible and cost-effective medium for post-conflict relief work and peace building as well as conflict prevention.

Email isaac@sportsaidnetwork.org. You can also reach to us through our social media platforms.

This article was written by Sports Aid Network. Visit the their website for more information.

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Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 17:20