The official launch of the Youth Network for Sport, Development and Peace in Africa
Sports Science and Sport Management Graduates of the University of the Western Cape (Bachelors, Honours, and Masters graduates), have recently facilitated at the 1st African Youth Forum, which took place on Robben Island, hosted by the Foundation for Sport, Development and Peace, from 15-19 September 2018.
These post-graduate students, Warren Lucas, Kirby Phillips, Mpai Rampou, Cian De Coning, Raedene Lucas, Joshua O’Connor and Chanté Johannes (UWC), as well as Duncan van der Merwe (CityVarsity Videography student), formed the team that facilitated 60 youth at-risk individuals between grades 8-12, from six African Countries namely; Mauritius, Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. The Foundation for Sport, Development and Peace partnered with the Robben Island Museum and the Pierre de Coubertin International Committee (CIPC) to bring youth together for sport development, arts and culture, heritage and physical activities in light of the Nelson Mandela Centenary and the Olympic Values of Respect, Friendship, Excellence, Balance of Body, Will and Mind and Fair Play.
Nelson Mandela believed that, “Sports can be a diversion. Sports can be a hobby. And, for a fortunate few, sports can change the world.” With this belief in mind, and to formally contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations, these graduates facilitated activities which encouraged team-work, collaboration, Focus And Self Control, Gaining Perspective, Communication, Making Connections, Critical Thinking, Taking On Challenges, Self-Directed Engaged Learning and the formation of partnerships, with Executive Board Members Dr. Ines Nikolaus (CIPC), Professor Marion Keim (Foundation), Ms Nariman Laattoe (Foundation), Ms Vanessa Mitchell (Robben Island Museum) and Ms Yasmina Majiet (CIPC). Additionally, the launch of the Youth Network for Sport, Development and Peace has taken place with the youth that participated in this forum. During this week-long forum, youth identified issues from their communities that they felt were hindering their growth and prospects for social mobility. In a formal declaration at the 5th International Sport and Peace Conference, youth proclaimed that, “We, as a united voice, have noticed social problems and economic difficulties in our communities, that of substance abuse, gangsterism, teenage pregnancy, mortality, social inequalities, and violence. In the spirit of the Olympic Values of Respect, Friendship, Excellence, Balance of Body, Will and Mind and Fair Play – we declare to create a platform that uplifts youth, and that carries the voice of the youth in Africa for Sport, Development and Peace so that we have a space to be heard, a space to share experiences and opportunities, and a space to mentor each other for a brighter future, for all, regardless of diversities and differences.”
With respect to the exclusive nature of education, and collaboration, this youth network aims to facilitate and provide a positive youth environment for learning and networking, headed up by these graduates of UWC, and are welcoming more graduates from all universities and colleges across Africa to be a part of the Youth Network, so that a culture of mutual support, friendship and mentorship can be established.
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