After 10 years of activities in the African Great Lakes region, Peace and Sport has given new dynamics to one of its historic programs. Initially set up in six community centers in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, the Great Lakes program now includes the education system to convey to young people the positive values of sport during extracurricular activities.
Vénuste Niyongabo, Burundi’s first-ever and thus-far only Olympic medallist and Champion for Peace is the ambassador of the program. For him:
“Today, the organization of sport is changing in Africa and school is wrongly relegated to the second place. However, at school, teachers rub shoulders with young people every day. They are best placed to instill in them not only sports learning, but also the values of cohesion, sharing and solidarity. On the occasion of these last Friendship Games held in Burundi, we trained both youth and teachers in the Peace and Sport Methodology. Some do not go without others.”
The pilot program was launched on October 21 following meetings with the Ministry of Education. Since then, peace-through-sport activities are conducted weekly in more than 20 schools in Gitega, Makamba and Bujumbura Provinces during extracurricular activities. More than 700 children, 50% of whom are girls, joined the program, supervised by 40 teachers trained by Peace and Sport. They exchange regularly with the national coordinator and regional coordinators to improve their sessions.
For Phocas Mpezindagano, National Coordinator of Peace and Sport in Burundi :
“The first training seminars were essential for the teachers to adopt the Methodology. The latter give us very constructive feedback and the children were quickly seduced by these new activities using the positive values of sport. More and more of them are joining the activities and we will need to train new teachers very soon, because in some cases we have already exceeded 30 students per session!”
A national… and digital development!
Next January, Peace and Sport team will be back in Burundi for the second phase of training for the teachers. They will be introduced to the digital application “Peace and Sport by MyCoach” which allows educators to easily access the Peace and Sport Methodology. The various educational contents are presented for the first time in the form of tutorial videos and digital documents in order to work on the positive values of sport. This application will make it possible to better monitor activities and their impact on beneficiaries.
The Great Lakes Program in Figures
– 1 National Coordinator and 3 Regional Coordinators
– 22 schools involved
– 45 teachers trained in the Methodology
– 700 children participating each week in peace-through-sport activities
– 50% female beneficiaries