2011/06/24

USE OF SPORT AS A TOOL FOR DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE

Sport is an international language that can bring people together no matter what their origin, background religious belief or economic status. The contribution sport can make towards social inclusion is invaluable, and it can as well be described as a tool to reach development objectives and address challenges arising from humanitarian crisis in conflict and post-conflict settings.

In the peace-building process, sport can be seen as a non-verbal means of communication to engage in collective experience, building relationship between different groups and fostering social integration. For example, the Africa Yoga Project in Kenya uses the transformative power of yoga to empower communities improving physical, emotion and mental well-being and creating opportunities to learn and contribute to a culture of unity, non-violence and possibility. The program has been started after the post electoral violence and provides an alternative support system to many young people in Nairobi living in slums and fighting daily to survive.

Sport is also used as a psychosocial tool in disaster response and can be adapted in the field as a non-medical approach to build the coping capacities of people affected by conflict offering support towards restoration of social and psychological health. In the extremely volatile context of Somalia, playgrounds have been built respectfully of local culture, traditions and gender relationships to stimulate building of relationships of trust, self-confidence, partnership and resiliency. In the picture, the playgroud realized by UNHABITAT in Mogadishu through an Italian fund.

 Most research that examines the relationship between sport and gender refers to the transformative potential of sport to challenge gender norms: girls and women who participate in physical activities demonstrate higher self-esteem as well as improved self-perception, self-empowerment and personal freedom. Although the participation of women and girls in sport remains largely imbalanced when compared to participation among men and boys, most researchers are in agreement that the consistent and continued participation of women and girls in sport has had a major impact on achieving gender equality in certain contexts. Moving the Goalposts – Kilifi Kenya is a girls youth sports and development organization using football to develop essential life skill of vulnerable young woman, providing a entry point for reproductive health, human rights and economic empowerment initiatives. 

2011/06/22

MILAN FOUNDATION FOR "ALICE FOR CHILDREN"

The historical Milan's captain Franco Baresi will open the
1st AC Milan Slums Championship Final


The 3rd of  July at Korogocho grounds – at 11 a.m. - the 1st AC Milan Slums Championship will be hosted,  with an exceptional guest, Franco Baresi, historical captain of the Milan “Invincibles”, who will inaugurate this special event organized by Alice for Children and Grapesyard Organization in partnership with the  Milan Foundation.



2011/06/17

30 YEARS INTO THE AIDS EPIDEMIC: FROM FEAR TO UNITY

It has been 30 years since the first reported case, 15 years since the treatment became a reality, only a few days since the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for global action to end the AIDS disease by 2020: the world has adopted a bold vision, meaning ZERO new HIV infections, ZERO discrimination and ZERO AIDS-related deaths.


There is a dramatic arc to the three decade history of AIDS as an epidemic and social phenomenon: overall the epidemic killed 25 million people worldwide, and nowadays, according to the UN, some 34 million people have AIDS, but about half of them do not know they have the disease. Despite figures, universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support have dramatically increased since the eighties tanks both to medical achievement and global awareness campaigns.



From discrimination and stigma to inclusion, form traditional sources to new technologies, the information flow has changed over the years, and several groups played a crucial role in it, from medical communities to people living with HIV, CSOs, teachers and media.

Since the HIV epidemic began, awareness campaigns helped to convey different messages, confronting the inequity of stigma against people living with HIV, explaining transmission and encouraging prevention. It has been done in many ways:  seminars and workshops, TV and radio, soap operas, internet, newspaper advertisement, street posters and billboard. Theater and role playing have also been creatively used to strengthen the flow of information and the general awareness on the issue.




As a example, the Italian Cooperation Office in partnership with Kenyan Ministry of Information and Communication, the National AIDS Control Council and the National AIDS /STD Control Programme, organized an itinerant initiative, CinemArena, which used screen and images to exchange views on themes such as HIV/AIDS, offering free tests and counseling, along with room for dialogue, to roughly 12.000 people in 15 villages in Nyanza Province, Rift Valley, Eastern, Coast and Nairobi.