UNICEF Sudan 'Sports for Peace' Campaign
Within its Peace Campaign Initiative amongst children and youth of the Sudan, UNICEF arranged for an event on Friday June 11th to launch activities in the National Capital of Khartoum. The event was hosted by Al Zaeim Al Azhari University, in partnership with the Government, the University and the media. This event was part of a process in the UNICEF Peace Campaign, which was initiated earlier in Darfur, and meant to cover all parts of the country, aiming at emphasizing the culture and values of peace. The central point in the campaign is to make the youth fully aware of the cost of war and the gains of peace for the Sudan. This came within the context of investing in the future of the country by maintaining and nourishing peace, and enhancing it, not only as an idea but as a behavior amongst the youth of the country. The idea of peaceful resolutions of differences is fundamental in this campaign. It is also underlined that children and youth hold the future of Sudan, and peace is vital to have them live in stability and contribute to a brighter future through development, democracy and caring for the rights of all.
The event, was launched to coincide with the opening match of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, under the slogan “ sports for peace”...and UNICEF arranged for a satellite link that allowed the student participants to watch a live telecast of the opening match in the Conference Hall of the University. Some short videos, enhancing the choice of peace within the Sudan were also shown to the participants in the interval of the match. The videos were quite effective in delivering the UNICEF peace message and supporting the choice made by the Sudanese in peace agreements, including the CPA and the Eastern Sudan agreement. Hopes were also expressed for peace to be attained in Darfur to have all citizens enjoy the great gains of peace.
UNICEF Representative, Mr. Nils Kastberg addressed the event, and explained the objectives of the peace initiative and gave examples of country-wide UNICEF activities that support the process. He thanked all involved in working together with UNICEF to support its Initiative, in government, the hosting University and the media. The Government representative (Ministry of Information and Communications) also made a statement, in which he commended the UNICEF peace campaign and pledged continued support to such endeavors. Also, the representative of the university spoke of the value of peace and the cooperation with UNICEF as testimony to their commitment to peace as a culture and behavior.
The event was well attended and showed how important it is to maintain the Peace Campaign and sustain it in all parts of the country, as it enhances the UNICEF mandate and mission . The event was concluded by a musical show of the popular Sudanese group “Igd Algalad” which played songs related to the virtues of peace and other popular songs requested by the participants.
UNICEF T-Shirts with the logo and the message of peace were distributed and worn by all student participants as well as the music band members.
In short, the event was an opportunity that created a strong air of interaction between the youth and the message of guarding the peace in the country.