New UN Leadership Camp Empowers Youth Through Sports

The United Nations leadership camp kicks off today in Doha, Qatar. The camp aims to empower underprivileged youth through sports-based activities.

Thirty young people from nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the occupied Palestinian territory has participated in the UN camp.

The participants are known to have already made significant contributions to their communities through grassroots projects that use sport as a method to foster peace and development.

The 18 women and 12 men participants come from South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana, Burundi, Tanzania, Namibia and the occupied Palestinian territory.

A Haitian tries his luck in the long jump event during a Sports Day for Peace in Portau-Prince. The Sports Day was organized by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in conjunction with the Brazilian Embassy and non-governmental organization Viva Rio.

UN Photo/Logan Abassi

The camp consists of 10 days of experiential learning activities addressing themes such as health, gender, disability, education and peace, and seeks to invoke greater change in communities driven by young leaders.

“The United Nations has long understood the unique power of sport for change, but for change to happen, strong leadership is needed.” – Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfried Lemke

He noted the camp provides concrete and practical leadership skills from some of the best leaders and experts in the field, in a truly collaborative spirit. He stressed it ensure that the lessons learned will guide these young leaders in their future endeavours.

At the camp, they will develop an action plan to implement in their local community with the support of camp organizers and partners to ensure the legacy of the project.

The initiative was led by the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) in close collaboration with the Canadian-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Right to Play and the Aspire Zone Foundation based in Doha. Other partners include the English Premier League, the German Agency for International Cooperation, the International Paralympic Committee and Liverpool Football Club.

The participants will also be joined four youth from Qatar who have been identified by the NGO Reach Out Asia (ROTA), giving the event a local element and exposing the youth to different cultures, backgrounds and ideas.

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