At the Yonex Badminton World Championships 2010, in Paris, Peace and Sport and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) signed a global partnership agreement to develop joint programs for peace-promotion.
This association increased the operational capacities of Peace and Sport, an international initiative placed under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, which works to reconcile divided communities by establishing communication and dialogue through sport.
It provided material support, technical resources and expertise from the BWF to lead programs for peace education for thousands of young people in need throughout the world. The intrinsic qualities of badminton (courage, perseverance, discipline, respect for the opponent, acceptance of defeat) make it a sport particularly suited to foster reconciliation and stability within populations suffering the consequences of armed conflicts, extreme poverty or lack of social cohesion. Inexpensive in terms of equipment and infrastructure, the sport adapts easily to all types of cultural, economic and social environments, including the most disadvantaged.
The first joint operations rolled out in 2011 in two countries where Peace and Sport is already present.
• BADMINTON POR LA PAZ in Colombia: badminton used to provide guidance to vulnerable young people living in urban slums in Medellin and Cali and in areas affected by guerrilla warfare in Guapi. It will also support efforts to socially reintegrate internally displaced young refugees, often living on the fringe of society, who don’t attend school and who have been traumatized by their displacement.
• BADMINTON BA DAME in East Timor: badminton offered to young people living in poor neighbourhoods of the capital Dili, to support their social integration and fight against the influence of violent street gangs. Education programs through sport will be introduced to contribute to social cohesion in this country that has undergone years of intense violence.
Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, added: “Every sport has its own specific nature, which can provide a unique solution to the diverse needs of particular communities. This is certainly the case for badminton, whose educational values and benefits we intend to use to benefit vulnerable populations in Colombia and East Timor. This partnership with the BWF allows us to be even more targeted and appropriate in operations we run in these two countries that have long suffered and deserve support in their efforts towards peace.”
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