When Sport Breaks Down Walls, in tribute to the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
Report on the International Youth Forum: When Sport Breaks Down Walls, in tribute to the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace and the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, organized by Save the Dream.
This Youth Forum took place from the 6th to 7th April 2019 in Berlin at Der Diwan. Invited were several representatives from sports initiatives/ federations/ institutions and all kinds of youth leaders from various nations across the world, including 3 delegates from ENGSO Youth.
The Forum aimed for the promotion of the usage of sports as a tool for public diplomacy, which was supported by a diverse number of stakeholders as for example the IOTC and the UNAOC.
The participants, who already arrived on the 5th of April had the chance to participate in a peace march starting from the Brandenburger Tor towards Checkpoint Charly. These are famous landmarks of German history connected to the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
The first day of the Forum started with welcoming remarks by the ambassador of Qatar, the founder of Save the Dream and one of the sponsors. Afterwards a keynote speech by the director of the FIFA Foundation was given, who emphasized that development is directly linked to peace and that sport can play an important role to carry both into effect. As sport is considered a soft- power, a member of the Falling Walls Foundation stressed again its essential part in breaking down barriers. The next item on the agenda were sport for peace talks followed by the marching together interview.
Both items showed different approaches to using sport’s potential to unify people and how passion for sports mobilizes all types of individuals to realize themselves while even having a positive influence onto their environment. A certain aspect of this youth forum was to include the voices of youth leaders into save the dream’s declaration, thus working groups were introduced during both days of the event. The first meeting of the groups focused on social inclusion, inter- cultural dialogue and peace education in and through sports. As we had many youth leaders from various sportive backgrounds gathered together, interesting discussions took place, country- based best practices were exchanged, certain barriers were identified, and possible solutions were noted down.
Given that the 6th of April is the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, all the participants assembled before lunch to take part in the White Card Campaign, symbolizing a referee promoting the positive power of sport instead of holding up a red card. Afterwards we were briefed regarding youth leadership and Olympic values. Another working group session was held thereafter to contemplate about the role of media and technology. In closing of this day, we were invited to have dinner together hosted by the embassy of Qatar.
The second day started with a short introduction to the international framework on sport for peace and development followed by a short workshop on how to write a funding application for sustainable initiatives. Afterwards we gathered again in the working groups to elaborate on sport volunteerism and on project writing. The next talking round in the plenum was about the identification of the next walls and determination of the successfully teared down walls. Sadly, there are still many conflicts all over the world and obstacles that need to be tackled, thus the promotion of sport for development and peace needs to be emphasized during these times and more initiatives need to be established to secure a stable future for everyone. The forum was then officially concluded by formulating a declaration including all mentioned aspects and the results of the working groups.
Thank you to Save the Dream for organizing this forum and thank you to ENGSO Youth for sending us there as your delegates!
ENGSO Youth was represented by these Young Delegates: Sandra Zwick (Germany), Ivana Pranjic (Croatia / Austria), Aleksandar Dimitrijevic (Serbia) and Filip Filipic (Serbia / Germany).