Recently UNESCO organised the Sport and SDGs Youth Funshop in Seoul from 5th to 8th September. The event was attended by seventy youth activists from 28 countries across Asia-Pacific. Each participant was an advocate for sports for development, leading their community’s sports-based social projects. Amongst those selected participants was our Community Development Manager, Ishita Godinho.
The purpose of the Funshop was for these individuals to exchange ideas and improve their programmes. Various sessions were taken by experienced facilitators to deliver capacity-building modules. All the participants exchanged their experiences and came up with better ideas for developing their respective programmes. Through these sessions, participants gained a deeper understanding of the role that sport can play in achieving the SDG’s. They were also invited to be a part of the Youth and Sport Task Force.
Many of the discussions revolved around gender equality and the youth came with powerful stories to share about their work and their determination to create impact. There were sessions on utilising best practices for program management, fundraising, theories of change, how to utilise social media for sports development, impact assessment, and the importance of partnerships. Ishita also learnt how different types of sports are being used to create impact and about the cultural barriers sport has.
Ishita recalls,” We discussed how to get more girls involved in sports. One of the barriers in India is the fact that women are not encouraged to participate in sports in the same way women in New Zealand are. This hampers the growth of women in sports. A lot of people believe we should be using cricket as a tool for creating impact as India is a cricketing nation.” She came back with an enlightening experience and a lot of resources to help her enhance her work.