25.04.2016 - UNESCO Office in Juba

UNESCO and UNMISS promoting Sport for Peace in South Sudan

©UNMISS / JC Mcilwaine

Celebrating the international day of sports for development and peace

On 17 April, UNESCO and UNMISS marked the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by organizing a colorful and vibrant afternoon of sports at the Juba Basketball Stadium. An estimated 2,000 people thoroughly enjoyed the commemorations.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) arranged the event in close cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the National Olympic Committee and the Maale Foundation for Heritage Development as a way to build trust and develop new partnerships with South Sudanese organizations.

The festivities were kick-started by the South Sudan National Karate Foundation. With a mesmerizing martial arts performance its athletes were sure to please the crowd.  

The Maale cultural group then amazed everyone with trance-like chanting, percussions and traditional dancing. The show served as a timely reminder of South Sudan’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.

Peace messages were conveyed through keynote speeches by Mr. Salah Zaki Khaled, Country Representative of UNESCO, Mr. Eugene Owusu, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Mr. Wilson Deng Kuoirot, President of the South Sudan National Olympic Committee.

Despite the presence of numerous VIPs, the real stars of the day were the athletes. They kept everyone on the edge of their seats during the three volleyball matches that took place under the light drizzle.

The women, two teams from the South Sudan Volleyball Federation, played two matches to determine which team would go home with the trophy, while the men played against a male team from UNMISS. The South Sudanese male players demonstrated skill and precision, the UNMISS team showed incredible perseverance and team spirit, and both teams embodied the true meaning of sportsmanship.

The Young Bright Stars, a group of children aged between 5 and 8 years old and lead by Mr. Sidi Moctar, also displayed their football skills in front of a packed stadium.

The day ended with all participants receiving medals for their precious contributions to this inclusive event. The spectators also got to take part in the exciting activities organized to celebrate the day. A raffle made sure that surprise gifts were handed to lucky winners as the sun was setting on Juba.

Go to photo gallery from the event

For more Information, please contact

Anna Rowett,

UNESCO Culture, Youth and Sports Consultant

Email: ac.rowett@unesco.org

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