A group of select youth from East and South Africa will have the opportunity of a lifetime to watch the final match of the ongoing FIFA World Cup, courtesy of UN-HABITAT and its partners.
The aptly labeled, “Pan-African Youth Group for a Safer Africa”, comprises of young people drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and South Africa will accompany UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka for the final game slated for 11th July 2010.
This event characterizes the final highlight of a UN-HABITAT and partners co-sponsored initiative titled “Youth for a Safer Africa” that involves the sponsoring of a group of 20 select youth from various East-African nations undertake a journey to South Africa that begins in Nairobi, Kenya.
The partners include: SCORE, Right to Play, the Tshwane Municipality, and Coca-Cola. The exciting programme will see the select youth attend workshops on sport for peace and development, attend several meetings and be a part of the publicity events to be held there as a promotion of the whole event.
The youth will fly out to Johannesburg where they will meet Mrs. Tibaijuka and the select South African youth group. Along with the Executive Director, the combined youth group will participate in the rehabilitation and opening of a sports ground.
The programme closes with the attendance of the final football match and the East African group will then fly back home.
The initiative aims to promote the theme “Sport for Peace and Development” amongst youth – a demographic that represents an untapped potential in many developing nations throughout the world. Youth in marginalized communities face various challenges that serve to hinder them from being productively involved in society.
Involvement in sports for youth has been shown to improve their livelihoods through the various benefits that sports offer, including: increased focus and direction, community cohesiveness and inclusion, sense of working together and the ideals of good sportsmanship, and distraction away from negative or otherwise destructive activities. Sports is a well document vehicle for development, especially among the younger generations.
From the promotion of this event, it is hoped that it will add inspiration for African youth to participate more in sports and realize the benefits behind them, and that the experience is both enjoyable and educative for the youth involved.