|Harnessing the Power of Sports for Peacebuilding|
|Thursday, 16 February 2012 00:00|
Harare, 16 February, 2012: The UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Alain Noudehou has called upon Zimbabwe’s youth to be involved in the constructive and peaceful engagement on development and civic issues on their future and that of their country, saying this is critical to their wellbeing and Zimbabwe.
“I therefore urge all of you to take this responsibility very seriously and to ensure that you bring positive contributions to the on-going processes towards full recovery and economic development in Zimbabwe,” said the UNRC/RR.
Speaking during an event to mark the handover of 1000 soccer balls by UNDP to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), Mr. Noudehou commended the work of JOMIC in conflict prevention, resolution and peace building in Zimbabwe. Noting that peace and development go “hand in hand” the UNRC/RR stated: “for development without peace is not sustainable and peace without development is not durable.”
The event was held on 16 February, 2012 at the JOMIC compound in Harare. It was attended by the UNDP Country Director, Ms. Christine Umutoni, youth representatives of the main political parties and JOMIC staff.
“The event reinforces the values of peace and development that we want to inculcate in your youth,” said a member of parliament, Ms. Opah Muchinguri, adding that Zimbabwe is seeking to build on its strength as a nation, and soccer is one of them.
In his remarks, the ZANU-PF youth representative Mr. Jim Kunaka said the soccer balls will revive interest in football throughout Zimbabwe, “providing a platform to share ideas as young people in this country.” Similar sentiments were echoed by Mr. Wiseman Mayengeza of the MDC-T Youth Assembly who described soccer as a popular game in the country.
The MDC-N Harare Youth Provincial Chairperson observed that the donation as a starting point to a fruitful youth dialogue. “We represent a lot of people from different districts,” he said noting that the gesture will go a long way in bringing the various groups together.
JOMIC’s Youth Programme seeks to harness the youth potential, making them agents of change in their societies by involving them in development initiatives, dialogue and peace building programmes, and is using soccer as an entry point to youth engagement.
The soccer balls will be distributed to all the provinces, with each province receiving one hundred balls. The province will also distribute the balls to the districts and each district will receive at least 8-9 balls depending on the number of districts in each province. Eventually, JOMIC intends to launch a JOMIC CUP, as an initiative to promote peace.
Established under Article XXII of the Global Political Agreement to ensure full and proper implementation of the letter and spirit of the Agreement, JOIMC has been dealing with the issues of compliance and monitoring of the Agreement.
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