2nd Youth Leadership Camp successfully concludes

Geneva/Hennef (UNOSDP) – June 28, 2012: The 2nd ‘UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp‘ concludes today at the Sportschule Hennef, Germany. After eleven days of intensive activities, 26 young people from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Palestinian Territories have enhanced their skills on how to use sport to address social change. With the conclusion of the camp, the participants will head back home, with all expressing confidence that the camp has been a “transformative learning experience.”

“The camp has created a platform for all of us from different parts of the globe to come together and share experiences on how sport can contribute to development and peace,” says 23-years old Cynthia Coredo, one of the three participants from Kenya.

Cynthia is involved with ‘Boxgirls International’, an organization using boxing as a tool to tackle issues affecting young women and girls in marginalized communities. The programme targets girls and young women from 8 to 18 years old, involving them in different activities building their self-confidence, enabling them to know their rights and teaching them about leadership skills.

As for the 2nd UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp, throughout the eleven days of the camp, the participants and their instructors covered a series of important issues related to the UN Millennium Development Goals, with each day being dedicated to a different thematic focus. Gender equality and the inclusion of persons with a disability were particularly high on the agenda, with a 50/50 ration at the camp between female and male participants and three participants living with an impairment.

The participants – coming from South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Lesotho, Botswana, Rwanda and the Palestinian Territories – had been invited to participate in the camp by the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) after a thorough selection process.

“I will never forget this experience. I had the chance to teach what I know as an individual but also to learn from my fellow youth and from very experienced instructors,” says an enthusiastic Evens Gasva, from Zimbabwe. “What I enjoyed most during the camp was the inclusion of people with impairments in all sporting activities.”

Evans has been part of ‘Hoops 4 Hope’ since 2000, a programme teaching life skills through basketball. He started as a young school boy, grew up actively participating in the programme and is now coordinating activities for primary school children.

Wilfried Lemke, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, whose UN office is leading this initiative, said: “This camp at Sportschule Hennef has been a fantastic example to showcase how sport can contribute to a better world. I have been especially impressed with the aspect of inclusion, and have seen first hand how sport has contributed to inclusion and integration between the participants themselves.”

He continued: “Now it is essential that the participants return to their organizations and communities and implement what they have learned here in Hennef. We will continue to support and communicate with these young leaders in order that they can make a real difference in their communities. Finally, I would like to thank all of the the participants, the trainers as well as our partners and donors for making this second camp a tremendous success.”

The tailor-made curriculum of the camp was designed jointly by UNOSDP and the NGO ‘Right To Play International’, with the active support and participation of experts from the International Paralympic Committee, the International Judo, Basketball and Table Tennis Federations, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and their partner Scort Foundation, the German development agency GIZ, the German Sport University Cologne and the NGOs Boxgirls International and Play & Train. Sportschule Hennef hosted the camp.

Ernesto “Ernie” Rebustillo, Regional Training Officer for Right To Play in Thailand, was the chief instructor in Hennef. Today, the last day the camp, Ernie conducted the finalization of individualized action plans which the participants will have to implement upon their return home.

“This leadership workshop was not only full of learning and fun, but was full of inspiration as well. All of the youth participants are now fired up to make a difference in their work by using Sport for Development and Peace back in their home communities,” he says.

At the end of the camp, Ernie concludes: “A big kudos to the participants, organizers and partners for such a transformational learning experience!”.

The ‘UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp’ project was launched by the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) in January 2012, in close collaboration with the NGO Right To Play International. The camps provide a platform where selected young leaders from underprivileged communities can learn best practices from experts and exchange experiences with each other on how to use sport to tackle social issues. The inaugural ‘UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp’ took place at the Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar, from 9 to 19 January 2012. The second camp took place in Hennef, Germany, from 18 to 28 June 2012.

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