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HIV Infected Children | Stadium for Peace Building

Sports Stadium for Reconciliation and Peace Building

This project is to build a venue for sporting activities to bring individuals and communities together, and to bridge cultural or ethnic divides. This stadium will be a fulcrum to leverage building the peace throughout the Great Lakes Region of East Africa.  With the understanding that building the peace is the first priority, this project emphasizes the place of sports, and specifically of a venue for sports, as a key factor in the process called peacebuilding.

In a country where the median age is sixteen (16), it is obvious in terms of human capital development that the young people are a crucial resource.  The stadium will serve as a framework appropriate for the organization of sports activities between universities and between high schools.  It will be a safe environment and a meeting place, for both competitors and spectators, of people of different ages and cultures.  Sports activities between schools of different communities will also allow people to get together and provide another forum for dispute resolution through the social interaction inherent in sports, especially team sports.  Even more important, by bringing together, in some cases on the same team, young people from different backgrounds (tribal, ethnic, national), including especially the refugee population, the process of reconciliation will be enhanced.  Such activities will have the merit of signaling to local community as a whole that a new page has, in fact, been turned and that the current fragile consensus for peace is growing stronger.  This project would provide a safe place; a pivot around which a number of beneficial activities and results could evolve. 

Project Goals:

  1. A location for the physical component of education which will be utilized by every educational institution at every level in the area.
  2. A challenging alternative for the young to the limited, idle, often boring, dangerous, and criminal activities on the streets.
  3. Promote a healing process on individual, community and regional levels through games, not war.
  4. Provide a keystone location in an enlarged transnational process of dialogue and reconciliation throughout the Great Lakes Region of East Africa.
  5. The central lesson, using sports as an example, to teach the idea that there can be competition without conflict; that competition can be resolved by rules without violence.

This last is the essence of building the peace. The stadium will be a forum for fun for the young, where they will learn the value of friendship, teamwork, discipline, respect for others, and other necessary skills to ensure that they develop into caring individuals, prepared to meet the challenges they will face and to take leadership roles within their communities.  Seen in this light an athletic facility can become a cornerstone with a vital role in the process of integrated development and peaceful conflict resolution.