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Resource Guide on Sport and Development / Sport and Peace

Resource Guide on Sport and Development / Sport and Peace

This short guide will provide some recommendations for key resources in the sport and development and sport and peace fields. Special thanks to Meeghan Zahorsky, The H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Generations for Peace Graduate Scholar Recipient in the CR program at Georgetown University for her input on this guide. Check out her summer sport and peace research on her blog

Sport, physical activity, and playing are not only fun, but can also be a means of supporting development and peacebuilding at a local, state, or international level. In 2008, the United Nations published  Harnessing the Power of Sport for Development and Peace: Recommenda…. This report recognizes the importance of sport as a tool for both development and peacebuilding, most notably focusing on how the intentional use of sport, physical activity, and play can contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Successful sport and development or sport and peace programs should create a safe space for all participants. Making programs inclusive to all genders, races, ethnicities, socio-economic levels, and religions is important for affecting change at individual, community, state and global levels. Sport can be used as a means of development through curricula that mainstream fields such as health, gender rights, education, or economic development. Whether through reuniting or reintegrating populations that have been divided or connecting populations that have never had contact, sport can be an important tool for peacebuilding.

Sport and development or sport and peace programs face many of the challenges that other development or peace programs face including establishing a credible monitoring and evaluation system, measuring project or program success and impact, and creating sustainable projects. Though sport has been used to incite violence or divide communities, it has the power to be used for positive change as well. While there is a significant need for more research and literature on intersection of sport and development or peacebuilding, there are many excellent organizations doing this work and a useful networking site on sport and development that offers a variety of toolkits.

The major networking site for the field of sport and development organizations is the International Platform on Sport and Development . The International Platform on Sport and Development provides information for many fields of sport and development including education and child & youth development, peacebuilding, disability, disaster response, health, gender, and economic development. It also provides toolkits on capacity building, project management, partnerships, monitoring & evaluation, career centers, and manuals and tools. More than 286 sport and development organizations are listed on the platform.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list (and many more organizations are listed on the International Platform for Sport and Development), here are a few key organizations working in sport and development or sport and peace (please feel free to suggest additional ones):

Back on My Feet– (BoMF) is a nonprofit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Back on My Feet (BoMF) does not provide food nor does it provide shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. All members – regardless of race, education or socioeconomic status – join together to move their own lives forward as well as the lives of their teammates.

Beyond the Ball– empowers urban youth to transform their community, not escape it. People often talk about “getting out” of their neighborhood. Beyond the Ball helps youth gain skills and abilities they can then contribute to their communities.

Dance4Peace– an innovative, global nonprofit that uses movement to inspire young people to be leaders and peacemakers in their communities. The organization has built conflict resolution, civic education program that promotes empathy, understanding, mediation skills, anger management, emotional and civic engagement through dance in youth around the world.

Fight for Peace– uses boxing & martial arts combined with education and personal development to realize the potential of young people in communities that suffer from crime and violence.

Gainline Africa– seeks to promote the true values of sport, working in rugby communities at home and abroad. They train local community leaders and high school teachers as coaches to deliver rugby programs to youth affected by war, poverty and disease. The sustainable rugby community club model incorporates sport, space and play as tools for addressing a variety of critical development areas such as: education & youth development, health promotion & disease prevention, community development, leadership, & participation, and conflict resolution & peacebuilding.

Generations For Peace– One of the world’s leading institutes dedicated to sport for peace and development. The institute serves the wider sport for peace and development community by attracting new actors and investors to the field, investing in cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and innovation, providing a central platform for sharing knowledge and best practices, delivering training, and supporting education programmes in other institutions. A key element of the approach is the training of these leaders to be able, in turn, to train others in their own countries to become agents of change, enabling in this way the further cascading of the approach. One such program is the Pioneer Certification Programme, a direct training intensive 10-day camp.

Grassroot Soccer (GRS)– uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV. GRS realized that the true power of soccer has always been connections that it creates between people. Using footballers as role models, and using the popularity of soccer to engage hard to reach young people, GRS has combined social theory, public health methodologies, rigorous evaluation and a huge dose of passion.

Mifalot– The goals of Mifalot is 1) To capture the power of football in order to build more active, compassionate, just and cohesive communities, and 2) To support the sustainable development of a more engaged society, and 3) To promote peaceful coexistence in our immediate region and beyond. To date, over 20,000 children and youth in Israel, Palestine and Jordan participate in Mifalot’s programs each year.

Peace Players International– mission is to unite, educate and inspire young people in divided communities through basketball. Through a groundbreaking peacebuilding-and-leadership development curriculum, PeacePlayers International uses basketball to bring children together and teach them proven tactics for improving their communities. PeacePlayers International currently operates year-round programs in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Israel and the West Bank, and Cyprus.

Right To Play– To improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace. Right To Play’s ultimate programming goal is to encourage behavior change. Through sport and play, Right To Play’s programs teach team work, co-operation and respect – the best values of sport.

Soccer for Peace– unite children of war-torn nations in their shared love of soccer

Sport 4 Peace (S4P)- S4P is dedicated to improving the quality and availability of sporting opportunities for girls and women around the world. Internationally S4P aspires to communicate a spirit of solidarity through the agency of sport. By way of sports development, training, education, and exchange, S4P has developed meaningful and lasting relationships with women throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. Sport in its purest form provides opportunities for dialogue, camaraderie, and the exchange of ideas.

The Team, Search for Common Ground– Understanding Differences Acting on Commonalities- In its multi-nation, episodic drama The Team, Search for Common Ground has merged the global appeal of soccer/football with soap opera to help transform social attitudes and diminish violent behavior in countries grappling with deeply rooted conflict. The television series addresses the very real divisive issues facing societies in a dozen African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries, using sport as a unifier to surmount barriers.

Ultimate Peace– Ultimate Peace builds bridges of friendship and understanding for youth from different social and cultural backgrounds around the world. Ultimate Peace focus on fun and education, not politics, using the exhilarating and character building sport of Ultimate Frisbee as the tool.



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