YLC United Nations Sports Youth Camp kicks off

Macolin/Magglingen – Switzerland, Sept 25, 2012: United Nations Sports Youth Camp, Today kicked off the 3rd edition of the ‘UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp’ (YLC), an eleven-day gathering aiming at supporting deserving young community workers with basic education levels and limited resources by providing them with access to training on how sport can be better used to effect positive change in their communities. This edition is taking place at the Swiss Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO) in Macolin/Magglingen, Switzerland, with 26 participants (16 females and 10 males, aged 18-25) hailing from 16 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa* and the Palestinian Territories.

“Helping young people help themselves”

“I am really excited to be here,” says 25-year old Harun Maina, one of the 3 selected participants from Kenya. “I am looking forward to learning from our instructors here, of course, but also from all my fellow participants from the entire African continent and from the Palestinian territories”. Since the Laikipia and Beyond Unity Cup tournament in March 2012, Harun has been working for the Zeitz Foundation, coaching youth football teams at the Nanyuki Sportiff club, in the Rift Valley region of Kenya.

Wilfried Lemke, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, is present in Macolin to welcome the participants. “With this camp, we help young people help themselves,” he said. He continued: “They know better than anyone else what their needs and the needs of their communities are. What we do is to give them the skills, tools and confidence they need to fulfil their potential in a way that works for them and the people around them.”

The 3rd event of its kind

The YLC initiative was launched in January 2012 by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), in collaboration with the international NGO Right To Play. This camp is the third of its kind, with the first two having taken place in Doha, Qatar, in January and Hennef, Germany, in June. The present edition will conclude on 5 October.

The eleven-day camp looks at a different theme every day, covering issues such as women’s and girls’ empowerment, inclusion of persons with disabilities, health, peace and conflict prevention, project management, etc., all explored through the prism of sport. This curriculum is meant to allow the participants be able to apply their learning to real-life situations in their communities. A team of experts and experienced practitioners are responsible for the training.

A strong team of partners and experts

The project is made possible through the support of the host of this 3rd camp, the Swiss Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO) and of a large group of partners, which includes the International Paralympic Committee, the International Judo and Table Tennis Federations, the German development agency GIZ, FC Basel and their partner the Scort Foundation, the NGO Boxgirls International and the sportswear company 361 Degrees International.

“As the Swiss Federal Agency of Sport and National Sports Training Centre, we are delighted to host the third UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp in Macolin. We are glad to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace,” said Matthias Remund, the Director of OFSPO.

A new YLC partner: the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB)

Last week, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), pledged their support to the YLC initiative. On the occasion of their World Congress in Anaheim, USA, and the participation of Mr. Lemke in the event, FIVB agreed to send certified volleyball coaches to future editions of the camp. In November 2011, the Federation signed a partnership with the United Nations for the promotion of the UN Millennium Development Goals. —- UNOSDP/Image © KSmediaNET

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