Saving children's dreams in Somalia through sport
Sport can play a strong role as a vehicle for development and peacebuilding. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes sport as an important enabler of sustainable development. It highlights the growing contribution of sport to the realization of development and peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect, especially with children and youths. Sport-based and sport-themed projects work primarily due to their universality and popularity, whereby they transcend religious, racial, social, political, and economic boundaries and build a sense of shared identity and fellowship.
Within the framework of the Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) initiative led by Qatar Charity and the Qatar Fund for Development and with the support of UNESCO, Save the Dream is implementing a sport-based project in Somalia, specifically in Garowe, Puntland, to promote peace, and reconciliation through the empowerment of youth and the creation of opportunities within most vulnerable groups.
The project envisages technical contributions of international organizations such as the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Aspire Academy, Generation Amazing, and, at the local level, benefits from collaborations with the Ministry of Youth and Sport and Somalia Women Foundation.
- Enhance local capacity to use sport as a tool for social transformation, with a focus on intercultural dialogue, equality, conflict resolution, preventing and countering violent extremism.
- Provide extensive training and technical capacity including innovative educational tools to implement sport for peace and development projects at the community level.
- Enhance social inclusion, promote gender equality and empower girls to participate in social change.
- Empower and strengthen capacities of grassroot organizations by providing them with capacity building, mentoring and support on how to best use sport to achieve their goals.
- Raise awareness on the power of sport as a tool to foster peaceful and inclusive societies.
Thus far, the program has identified local agents of change including sport coaches, educators, role models in sport and youth leaders are trained to become the official and certified trainers of the project. The program has ensured that teachers, educators, coaches, operators, and volunteers are connected through a common digital platform to facilitate access to and exchange of information, synergies, and forms of mutual assistance in the long term.
Through the program, we have also been able to identify those schools, sports, and grassroots organizations in Garowe that are equipped in terms of sport materials and educational approaches to promote safe access to sport and its values to schoolchildren, street children, young displaced people, and other underprivileged children.
Finally, we were able to raise awareness locally and nationally on the role of sport in the field of development and peace.
Main activities and interventions
Phase 1 November 2022 – January 2023
The first round of programme will prepare local stakeholders to take the lead for SDP initiatives through the following activities:
- Train the trainer (TTT): Select sport coaches, educators, role models and youth leaders in sports and train them as agents of change in order to implement sport for peace and development activities in their respective communities and schools.
- Field training in IDP camp and schools: As part of the TTT programme, participants will receive practical lessons on how to implement sport festivals, clinics and tournaments at the community level.
- Football and basketball tournaments: Participants, with the support of experts from Save the Dream, will organize a three-week long sport clinic and tournament for children from local schools. This will provide an opportunity to gain experience and utilize the tools and resources to implement community sport programmes.
Phase 2 January – March 2023
The second round of activities will prepare up to 50 people to implement SDP initiatives through schools and communities.
- Advanced SDP capacity building programme: Selected participants such as physical education teachers, schoolteachers, community development actors, representatives from municipalities, sport and educational institutions and federations, universities, NGOs, and youth leaders, will be trained to implement SDP projects in their respective communities.
- Sport clinics and tournaments within schools and communities: As a part of the capacity Building Programme, participants will organize sport clinics and tournaments in schools and community. The project will provide materials to the organizations represented by the 50 participants and help these later in the organization of clinics and practical exercises and include such activities in their present and future educational programmes.
- Sport for Hope festival will be organized at the community level, with local, national and international participants, and officials from government officials and partner organizations in attendance. This festival will include organized sport activities and friendly matches for children and youth in different categories, an exhibition of traditional sport practices by different communities, cultural activities by local talents, and advocacy and awareness raising sessions.
About Save the Dream
Save the Dream was launched in 2012 as a global initiative that implements and promotes activities to empower youth through safe access to sport and to its educational and social values.
Through its work, Save the Dream aims to:
- Develop skills, instill ethics and promote social innovation through sport.
- Foster intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding through sport.
- Facilitate access to sport regardless of socio-economic condition, race, physical abilities and gender considerations.
- Protect children from mistreatments happening in sport.
Save the Dream operates under the guidance of a high-level panel of distinguished personalities, including peacemakers, synergy with United Nations' bodies, sport organizations, and civil society.
Save the Dream benefits from the support of several Athlete Ambassadors, which include elite athletes such as football legend Alessandro Del Piero and the Captain of the IOC Refugee Team Tegla Chepkite Loroupe.