An initiative led by JICA
In South Sudan, there is mistrust among people and different tribes because of long lasting conflicts in the country. The YES for Peace project aims to provide opportunities for youths to learn peaceful coexistence and time for enjoy sports together regardless of their background such as tribe, gender and place of origin.
From January 2016, Ministry of Youth and Sports, together with JICA, have continuously organised annual National Sports Festival “National Unity Day (NUD)” bringing youth athletes from all over South Sudan, as efforts to promote “Peace and Unity” through sports in the country following its independence (2011). The athletes who joined NUD were expected to conduct outreach activities for peace promotion in their own communities based on their NUD experience as “Peace Ambassador”.
The Project also aims to youth empowerment and peace promotion at community level through sports activities with schools and sports academies and clubs.
- To strengthen the capacity of the ministries in terms of planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation of activities and coordination with relevant stakeholders
- To organise annual country-wide sports event “National Unity Day” for promoting “Sports for Peace and Social Cohesion”
- To build operational structure for conducting activities of Youth Empowerment through Sports for Peace promotion at Juba and pilot states
- To create a platform for collaboration among the ministries, operating partners (schools, sports clubs and academies), and donors (international sports associations, international organisations, NGOs, embassies and private companies) for promoting Sports for Peace activities in South Sudan
- Organisation of an annually national sports event with preparation meetings and a fair and inclusive selection process
- Conducting visits and training in Japan and other countries to learn other countries’ example on sports policy, management structures, national sports event and sports for peace activities
- Examination of trainings for government officials, coaches, teachers and previous participants of national sports event (Peace Ambassadors) for promoting sports for peace activities
- Conducting pilot activities of sports for peace in schools, sports clubs and academies at Juba and pilot states
- Creating YES for Peace sports training guidelines (including elements of life skills, peace education and psychosocial counselling) to disseminate sports for peace activities in South Sudan
- Near than 400 youth athletes have participated in NUD annually
- Over 60,000 audiences have participated in NUD annually and have shared feeling of peace and cohesion. In addition, NUD’s message on peace has been delivered to a number of people through TV/Radio and social networks
- NUD provides more opportunity for women to participate in social activities, which empower them and also raise people’s awareness on gender issues
- Establishment of operational structure for youth empowerment through Sports for Peace promotion at Juba and pilot states
- Increased activities at community level to promote peace and unity. Several good examples were reported, including peace activities organised by NUD participants in their places of origin
- Some athletes have started their lives in cities after overcoming the fear to live outside the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
- Increase of partners to join NUD activities by fundraising or technical support in various sector related to youth
Support provided by JICA
- Sending project experts specialised in peace building, youth empowerment and sport management, etc.
- Training for government officials, sports association staff, coaches and teachers in Japan and other countries
- Training for government officials, sports association staff, coaches and teachers in South Sudan
- Organisation of a national sports events
- Provision of sports equipment
- Research and impact assessment of sports for peace activities
- Pilot activities in schools, sports clubs and academies