Few activities compare to sport in its ability unite divided communities and provide exit paths from the cycle of violence. The founders of G & D recognized this while while in Iraq and have since sought to harness the power of sport to help children in communities impacted by war.
The UN Task Force on Sport for Peace highlights the potential of sport, as an international language, to bridge cultural and ethnic divides at the global level as well as within communities. As such, sport can be leveraged as a tool to for preventing conflict and as an element for developing sustainable peace. When applied effectively, sport programs promote social integration and tolerance, the same values necessary to reducing tensions, generating dialogue, and building lasting peace.
Further, the psychological benefits from sport help to address the trauma experienced by children displaced by conflict. Sport programs serve in refugee and internally displaced person camps to ease the problems faced by those who have fled violence. Combined, these elements of sport’s potential make it an ideal tool to engage and assist children whose lives are disrupted by violence.
“Sport is a passion shared by women and men across the world. It is a force for physical well-being and social empowerment … There is no more powerful platform than sport to nurture the values we all share – solidarity, responsibility, respect, honesty, teamwork, equality motivation and self-esteem … Sport is a way to include everyone, including refugees and migrants, to fight against stereotypes, to strengthen the foundations for peace in healthy societies.”