Doha, Qatar (UNOSDP) – The 4th edition of the UNOSDP Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) kicked off on January 14 at the world renowned Aspire Dome in Doha, Qatar. The Camp brings together youth aged 18-25 in order to teach them the best practices in using sport as a tool for positive change in their communities. The 29 youth from Africa and the Middle East will return to their home countries on 25 January 2013 with a clear vision of how they can make improvements in their community by harnessing the power of sport.
The Camp is returning to its origin with the first edition having been hosted by the Aspire Zone Foundation at the Aspire Dome Sports Complex in Doha last January. The YLC is the initiative of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, and his Office, UNOSDP. It is co-organized together with Right To Play, the largest NGO using sport for social change and supported by the Chinese sport equipment manufacturer 361, which provides sports equipment free of charge for the camp participants.
The first day kicked off with a Press Conference attended by Special Adviser Lemke. He was accompanied by British Olympian Lynee Beattie who was representing the FIVB Heroes campaign.
Mr. Lemke said: “We have seen time and time again that when young people are given an opportunity to be the catalyst for change, positive changes are possible. I am convinced that today will be the first day of a remarkable journey for these 29 young people”.
“I really believe that this camp will widen their vision on what they are currently doing and the role that they play in their communities. The new path that many of the previous participants have taken has been remarkable and I expect this group to achieve the same results”, says the lead facilitator of the camp, Mr. Fadi El Yamani from the organization Right To Play.
Over the course of the ten day program, the youth will undertake both theoretical and practical trainings from Organizations like Right to Play, The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Boxgirls International; Sport Federations like The International Volleyball Federation(FIVB), The International Basketball Federation (FIBA), The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), and the International Judo Federation (IJF); and a special facilitation by Liverpool Football Club.
Says Freeman Larmie 25 years old from Caldwell, Liberia who works for The Liberia National Table Tennis Association as Secretary-General: “I am so excited to learn new things over the next days from great organizations and it is my hope, that I can take this knowledge back to my country and share this knowledge with others to make a positive difference”.
This year will also see Camps in Switzerland, Sweden and the Republic of Korea. It is the intention to have a wide geographic distribution of the Camps in the coming years. The YLC initiative is in line with the UN’s strong focus on youth and the UN Secretary-General’s generational opportunity and imperative of working with and for women and young people, which is part of his Five-Year Action Agenda. The YLC aims to strengthen a broad range of leadership, technical and transferable skills of youth and supports them as multipliers for implementing UN goals and cross-cutting issues in local communities. In order to promote diversity and ensure inclusion, the all Camps ensure gender equality amongst the participants and always include persons with disabilities.
Read more about the UNOSDP Youth Leadership Programme here.
Photos: © UNOSDP