Project title: Using the power of sports to improve reconciliation, coping mechanisms, and societal healing to realize stable and sustainable peace.
Friends of Orphans sports for peace project is aimed at strengthening the reconciliation initiatives, without which lasting and sustainable peace will be hard to achieve. Sports is a very powerful tool for peace building, conflict management and resolution leading to reconciliation.
Friends of Orphans will use soccer as a vehicle to mobilize and encourage different communities in Northern Uganda to engage in peace building, conflict management, and resolution leading to reconciliation to ensure all voices are represented. FRO will hold soccer competitions, which will draw 150 different teams (both boys and girls) from the 16 sub counties in Agago district in Northern Uganda – this will encourage interaction and engenders a sense of community.
Before and after the soccer competitions begin, there will be different speeches on peace building by 30 different peace builders/actors, including traditional leaders, religious leaders, community leaders, peace-building activists, and peace-mediation specialists. Sports for Peace is not about medals, bragging rights or prize money. Sports for Peace is sports for a better world. It is sports for sustainable peace.
We will support 150 local soccer teams with peace and reconciliation themes with the aim of changing the negative attitudes towards stigmatized groups directly affected by violent conflict, such as orphans, former child soldiers, child mothers, ex-combatants, and people with disabilities.
The voices of children and youth in conflict management and resolution are largely unheard, yet children and youth bear the most burdens in times of conflict. Through games and sports Friends of Orphans will create a forum for children and youth to express their views on peace building and conflict management leading to reconciliation. This will create reconciliation, sustainable peace and societal healing.
For sustainable peace to be realized, the victims of the violence (mostly the children and youth) must be involved in the peace-building process, but many times they are placed as witnesses to the peace building process, instead of being active partners in the peace-building process. Involving the victims in peace-building dialogues will lead to reconciliations at all levels, leading to sustainable peace in the communities in northern Uganda. With soccer games will ensure the children and youth are involved in the peace building and they should own the process.
The involvement of soccer games in peace building, conflict management, and reconciliation will lead to building confidence, restoring lost hope, and socio-reintegration among the communities. This will help communities plan and manage social functions that promote social cohesion and healing in society using soccer games with particular interest in conflict sensitive themes that brings families and communities together to promote interdependence co-existence aimed at creating demand for peace.
This Project aims at creating disciples for peace building and conflict prevention in the communities of northern Uganda; because lasting peace can only be achieved when conflict transformation is done through people affected by violence, so they can own the process.
Project Objective: To strengthen the capacity of the community/systems in Northern Uganda to promote reconciliation initiatives with the goal of achieving lasting and sustainable peace and societal healing.
FRO believes that one of the best ways to promote global human rights agenda for development is to help war-affected children and youth discover their self-esteem and worth. The best vehicle to deliver this is through games and sports. “We all encounter challenges as human beings, but we should look at our challenges as lessons to learn and to make our future better and more productive. Injustices will only stop when we find the confidence to challenge our society and embrace the concept of tolerance. It doesn’t matter if your cause is popular or not, as long as you know you’re doing what’s right for the safety of humanity”.
FRO believes that war affected children have wounds in their hearts and minds which need to be washed clean and treated through rehabilitation, reintegration and empowerment. Our approach helps the children to dry their tears and restore meaning in their lives. War affected children do not have to stay victims forever. They can take control of their future and stop the cycle of poverty and hopelessness through games and sports.
FRO knows that war affected children can work themselves out of poverty with respect and dignity if they are not treated as objects, but rather, as subjects. Therefore, we use multiple strategies to combat unemployment by addressing the challenges and realities of life faced by former child soldiers, child mothers and orphans since we know that children born in these situations are not of their own making.
Background of the problem:
The war in northern Uganda has left many people as victims and this has created a lot of internal conflicts among the communities at personal, family, clan, and community levels. Although the war has ended, these internal conflicts have never been resolved. Therefore, there is need for reconciliation among the different communities through games and sports.
Reduced cases of conflicts in Agago district by 30%
Improved motivations, attitudes, outlooks, self-esteems, and community functionability on peace building, conflict management, and resolution.
Increased knowledge, skills, and awareness on reconciliatory methods for sustainable peace in Agago district.
Improved relationship among communities’ social co-existence and acceptance.
There will be improved mental well-being and trauma healing of the community in Agago district.
- FRO created a forum for women and children to express their views on peace building, conflict management. Through the use of games, sports, music and cultural activities, they mobilize and encourage communities to engage in peace building, human rights issues and reconciliation activities.
- FRO organized sports competitions that drew in many different teams from Northern Uganda - this encourages interaction and engenders a sense of community.