20.03.2019 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

Youth Sports for Social Cohesion: a workshop in Syria

© UNESCO

At the invitation of Syria’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education, UNESCO Beirut participated at a workshop organized by the Ministry under the title “Youth Sports for Social Cohesion”. The workshop, held in Damascus on 18-20 March 2019, aimed at training 30 sports teachers at schools, youth influencers, and members of youth NGOs and sports NGOs from various regions in Syria on the role of sports in promoting peace and social cohesion.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Dr Seiko Sugita, Programme Specialist of Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO Beirut, said: “Sports has proven to be a cost-effective and powerful tool for promoting peace and human values such as respect for others, teamwork, discipline, diversity and empathy. As acknowledged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, sport is an important enabler of sustainable development as it builds a culture of respect and non-violence. Moreover, sport provides a valuable setting to change social norms, culture and behavior, to advance gender equality. In often times and globally speaking, females remain under-represented in sport – both on and off the field – in participation, media profile and leadership positions. It is high time in our region to explore a more transformative approach to promote gender equality”. Dr Sugita thanked the Ministry of Education and Dr. Nidal Hassan, Secretary General of the Syrian National Commission for UNESCO, for the preparation of the workshop.

During 3 days, participants learnt how to design sports games that promote social cohesion and a sense of belonging and citizenship, and discussed how sports can promote the physical and mental well-being of youth, thus enabling them to become peaceful citizens.




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