The Meeting of Minds – GFPI Forum Day 1

By Edward Beswick, Research Coordinator, Generations For Peace Institute and Love Calissendorff, Research Associate, Generations For Peace Institute

The inaugural Generations For Peace Institute Forum began today at the organisation’s headquarters in Amman, Jordan. The purpose of this GFPI Forum is to unpack community-based peace-building measures and explain Generations For Peace’s approach. The Forum focuses on how GFP uses sport to transform conflict and build peace. It involves GFP volunteers and practitioners from over 20 different countries, sharing their stories, knowledge, and best practices. It represents a fantastic opportunity to learn about the practical implementation of long-term peace-building programmes from the people on the ground.

For today’s Forum blog post we (Research Coordinator Edward Beswick and Research Associate Love Calissendorff) decided to pick some stand out quotes from each session to give you an idea of what was covered.

Here is what we picked:

Panel – Does Sport Really Help Build Peace?

‘I grew up with war; I was born in war. Sport has created a space for us where we can all meet, people from different neighbourhoods, different tribes, religions and contexts. My experience therefore is that sport really helps build peace… [The idea is that] instead of having a gun they [children and youth] will hold a ball.’

– Paul Wel, South Sudan

Panel – Sports For Peace in Practice: The GFP Model

‘What we are using for our Sport for Peace Programmes, our sessions, is sport-based games, [it is] not sport per se. We are working with children. They enjoy sport. Their cognitive sides changes, their behaviour sides changed, their mood changed. Sport can be very useful in transforming the behaviour and attitudes of people – it can transform the conflict itself.’

– Sanja Angelovska, Republic of Macedonia

Panel – Working with Different Target Groups: Successes and Challenges

‘From 2011, I started to think more about how the environment affects disabled children. I wanted to work to improve their lives. I had a car accident and was therefore forced to re-evaluate things. My own experience [of disability] helped me to understand and know what to apply to each programme. Working with disabled children requires money, different tools, [and] facilities. It is important for the facilitator to care for each individual participant and for each individual disability.’

– Bashar Shweiki, Palestine

Panel – GFP Locally: Community Stakeholders, Local Partner Organisations, Local Registration and Satellite Offices

‘I observed, on a daily basis, verbal and physical violence between students as well as sexual harassment. I felt their anger and their fear. I, along with a few others, became interested in addressing these issues in schools in Jordan. Since this was an issue acknowledged by the Jordanian Ministry of Education, and we had the support of His Royal Highness Prince Feisal, we had a lot of support in implementing our Art for Peace Programmes. The Ministry of Education also gave us access to the students and to the schools.’

– Hana’ Juma’h, Jordan

That’s all for today.

Stay tuned for the next GFPI Forum post tomorrow and check out our social media channels.

Thank you for reading!

www.generationsforpeace.org

 

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