A Pan-Punjab Peace & Youth Development Initiative
Lahore, Jalandhar, Munich, January 2017. With the support and funding of the German Foreign Office (ZIVIK/IFA) and the foundation Robert Bosch Stiftung, a development project on both sides of the
Pan-Punjabi border could be
launched in 2016.
The Punjab is a central scene of a deep-rooted conflict between India and Pakistan which in the past repeatedly culminated into open military disputes and remains unsolved till to today.
The initiative KICK FOR TOLERANCE is unique and a pioneer work for several reasons:
- A trustful and face-to-face cooperation between local, indigenous NGOs from both sides of the border could been started
- Rural communities and families from both sides, practically neighbour-communities which are disconnected by a nearly insuperable border, have been motivated to support a programme that takes their children on an educational journey making intercultural experiences and connecting on bi-lateral and international levels
- School teachers, headmasters and District Education Officers have been reached to deal with a new and holistic educational concept that recognizes experiential learning, social competencies and intercultural experiences through school-partnerships as a valuable element
- 100 girls and boys in the age of 10 from both sides have enrolled in the programme and have started their exciting journey that will develop and connect them.
- In close cooperation of local and international expert NGOs a holistic Sports-For-Development and Peace curriculum was created and adapted to the local contexts. It is based on the methodology “Football3/Streetfootball for Tolerance” providing a positive space for encounter, dialogue and education.
All this said is anything but self-evident for this crisis region we work in. The more we feel encouraged to support children's personal and social development by means of a playful and joyous interaction. Offering them opportunities to share common experiences across borders will eventually contribute to establish a better understanding of each others needs and wishes in the future.
In light of these recent developments the project has already started to lever its unique set-up on both sides. Video messages and greetings between the groups have been exchanged and were warmly embraced. A constructive learning and development process is now elaborated around this approach. Using the football3 methodology - also called “Streetfootball for Tolerance” – a joint value base is anchored, social, communication and organization skills are built and a platform for encounter and exchange is introduced. In 2017 first Peace & Fair Play Tournaments on both sides of the border will be conducted and virtually connected with the prospect of a joint event in the future.
The 2016 launch of the Pan-Punjab programme KICK FOR TOLERANCE is a big step which not few may have thought is hardly to achieve. It was made possible by committed and courageous local Sports-For-Development NGOs and visionary seed phase funding partners.
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