Swiss-based NGOs unite around sport for development and peace
In October 2016, members of several Swiss-based NGOs came together to discuss promoting sport for development and peace as a unified body. Their first meeting served as an introduction to the organisations and forum to discuss challenges and future plans.
The primary goals for the latest meeting were to define the group’s objectives and to solidify its next steps. After a brief introduction and some updates, the group began a facilitated discussion of its action plan. The main points of the discussion were:
- Identifying the goals and targets
- Creating a shared mission
- Determining the next steps to move forward
Participants also touched upon the multiple challenges faced in promoting sport and development, agreeing that there is a lack of awareness surrounding the topic. This lack of understanding exists not only within the public sector but also in professional sport clubs and government agencies. Often the assumed benefits associated with sport end with health. The group hopes to raise awareness about sport’s role in empowerment, peacebuilding, reducing mortality rates and gender equity, in addition to its many health benefits. One of their central goals is to correct the misconception associating sport with big business, and to redirect awareness towards sport as a tool for development and peace.
With multiple organisations coming together, one of the biggest challenges the group faces is that of identity. This topic was discussed throughout the meeting, with particular attention paid to the group's name and message. Since the participating organisations have strong identities and differ slightly in their audience and methodologies, it can be difficult to come together on one common approach. However, despite the complexity of their subtopics, the underlying message is shared. The group agrees that there is a void when it comes to the representation of sport and development in Switzerland, and they are eager to become the missing voice to advocate for this cause.
The next steps discussed in the meeting were:
- Determining the group’s name and outlining its message
- Contacting local government agencies to introduce themselves, and to offer help and support
- Presenting their message in the form of a video
As they continue to establish their objectives, the group hopes to circulate its core message in the coming months across multiple channels.