International Day of Sport for Development - The Power of Sport
Today is International Day of Sport for Development and Peace so Power for the People would like to reflect on the impact that sport has had in the vulnerable communities that we work in.
What is International Day of Sport for Development and Peace?
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace was established in 2013 by the United Nations to foster peace and understanding and presents an opportunity to recognize the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe.
IDSDP takes place annually on April 6th, the same date as the first modern Olympic Games, and celebrates the role of sport as a tool to advance human rights and sustainable development, with each year having a specific theme. This year, the theme for IDSDP is climate action in sports.
The International Olympic Committee has recognised the event as an important reminder that sport can promote reconciliation, tolerance and bring about solidarity, even in the harshest of times.
Sport has the power to align our passion, energy and enthusiasm around a collective cause. And that is precisely when hope can be nurtured and trust can be regained. It is in our collective interest to harness the tremendous power of sport to help build a better and more sustainable future for all.”
– UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed
Opportunities do not just happen, we create them through persistence and hard work’’
– Remba Football Team
Our work on Remba island involved establishing basic infrastructure to support women and children. In particular, we identified that attendance and discipline could be incentivised to improve through sports and so we set about constructing a football pitch at the school.
The island is naturally quite rocky and so it was important that the children had somewhere where they could play football safely.
Despite setbacks from the pandemic, PFP cleared and completed the Remba Primary School Football Ground, bringing sporting facilities to 500 children in Remba who were able to enjoy playing and training safely on the pitch whilst they waited for schools to re-open.
In June 2021, on Madaraka Day, PFP held the Remba Children’s Football Tournament and celebrations, attended by the whole
community, Homa Bay County, and local dignitaries. The children were presented with football kits, bearing
the UEFA Foundation for Children and PFP Logos. It was an auspicious day and they played superb matches against other teams participating in our
Our Remba Women’s Group and Remba School teachers report that football and the playing grounds help keep Remba’s children and
youth away from drink, drugs, and violence. They also report that because of improved diet, health, fitness and
discipline the children attend school regularly and study better.
Our aim going forward is that Remba school connects with many more communities and schools through tournaments and that they continue to excel through the sports programme.
Footage of the children receiving their kits and playing matches during the tournament on Madaraka Day.
Alongside the construction work taking place at the Paorinher Centre in Northern Uganda, the Paorinher Football Academy was also revitalised and the children received 50 footballs, donated by the UEFA Foundation for Children. The children made great use of the reinvigorated sports facilities and trained often whilst school was closed due to the pandemic. This had a knock-on effect that lead to the Paorinher Football Team being chosen to represent Northern Uganda in the Chipkizi Cup 2021 tournament in Arusha, which attracted over 168 teams with over 2200 players.
Paorinher’s under 11 category emerged as champion of the East African Chipkizi Cup that concluded 14th-19th December 2021 and they were crowned champion of the Big East African Children League.
In the under 13 category, Paorinher came second in the final after being taken out by Fountain Gate Football Academy on penalties. Paorinher’s under 15 category also reached the quarter finals. The best player of the tournament came from Paorinher, an orphan young boy, called Francis Ojara. Another orphan boy from Paorinher, John Baptist Opio, was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) and was awarded a 1-month football training exchange program in July 2022 in Spain.
Paorinher has made history since no team in the history of Northern Uganda has ever gone outside the country and came back with such a big success! This is a tremendous achievement bearing in mind that these children came from very difficult backgrounds lacking equipment and opportunities that many of the bigger academies in the cities have no problem of access to such facilities and various opportunities.
Support Paorinher's Sporting Ambitions
Our projects have illustrated that sports can be a catalyst of change for young people in impoverished communities that encourages sportsmanship, improves health and keeps children away from anti-social behaviour.
Paorinher is an example of how giving a little, goes a long way, and we want to continue to facilitate lasting change in the community.
With your support, we can continue to invest in the ambitions and aspirations of these children.
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