A Peace Field In The Punjab

Kick For Tolerance A Pan-Punjab Peace & Youth Development Initiative.

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Why we work. India and Pakistan are the protagonists of a severe and deep rooted conflict which has its origins in the bloody partition of British-India in 1947. Beyond military disputes, the conflict is effective on a societal level till today and consequently inhibits the development of neighbourly relations. The divided Punjab has been and is till today a central scene of the conflict. Drug routes starting in Afghanistan pervade the region severely affecting the youth. Especially in rural areas of the Punjab less effective public school systems limit the employability of young generations on both sides of the Pan-Punjabi border. Child labour and gender discrimination are virulent issues in the region. Finally, the lack of education and mobility as well as the lack of exchange and access to enriching social networks perpetuate negative perceptions “of the other side”. Beyond the regional context the Punjab can be understood as a key region for a normalization of the Indo-Pak relations at large. Several terrorist groups operating in South-Asia including Afghanistan are based in the region. Enemy images plus the lack of livelihood opportunities make young people prone for fundamentalist propaganda.

Our Goals. Sports-For-Development-and-Peace (S4DP) is one of the most – if not the most – impactful and scalable developmental tool in the areas of youth development and reconciliation. To address the complex situation as outlined above, some of the worlds most experienced and capable NGOs in the field of S4DP have formed a unique partnership to pioneer a peace and development programme in the Punjab called Kick for Tolerance. Among them are indigenous organizations from Pakistan and India as well as partners from Germany. The partners have worked over many years with thousands of children and youth in various social contexts.

The core goals of the projected S4DP programme are:

  • Create mutual respect and tolerance across cultures, borders and religions
  • Increase resilience of youth and young adults against any form of radicalization
  • Increase education levels, impart holistic life skills and create livelihood opportunities for young generations
  • Strengthen gender equality
  • Increase safety in the region through positive and effective impulses from the societal base
  • Initiate bilateral institutional partnerships and collaboration
  • Introduce and anchor sports based, experiential learning concepts in public school curricula

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The Programme. Addressing the conflict from the societal base, the projected programme will follow a child centred approach working in collaboration with schools from deprived communities in the border region. It will take girls and boys from both sides from the age of 10 years onwards on a journey through their childhood. Qualified Youth Mentors from the same communities will deliver a sports based, experiential curriculum which will impart values and strengthen social competencies. Stepwise and cautiously the children, their families, schools and communities from both sides will connect and interact. Cross-border youth teams and networks will evolve. The participants will become the main originator of their programme content. They start using new media channels to communicate, start to address relevant issues and to manage and present projects they work on. Holistic life skills based on a robust value foundation are formed, along with the development of career perspectives. On exiting the programme in the age of 16-18 the meanwhile young adults will form a confident, informed and well connected generation that is able to make effective choices. This new generation of young Punjabis will have overcome national or cultural marginalization and will have lived reconciliation. As they grow and as the scalable programme will continuously enlarge its reach, they will be able to reshape society towards a peaceful coexistence and cooperation in the region.

The Curriculum. A strong base of researched and empirically successfully delivered curricula are available through the partners and will be adapted to the specific contexts and needs. One of them is the Football 3 Method (http://www.streetfootballworld.org/football3/) which is also used in the FIFA Football For Hope Programme. Using a football pitch and the elements of sports and play the method creates a positive space for encounter and dialogue and for education on values, such as fair play, democracy and gender. Another resource is the Magic Bus Activity Based Curriculum addressing holistic social and life skills (http://magicbus.org/research).

Entering the programme as “Explorers” in the age of 10 the kids, as well as their families and communities, will develop interest and confidence into the programme and the mentors. Football3 will be the main activity platform in the first phase. Partaking, a positive environment and the facilitation of a sense of success through sports and fair play will foster self-confidence and self-efficacy and will prepare the children to reflect issues and express themselves. Starting in parallel groups on both sides a cross-border interaction will be cautiously and stepwise introduced e.g. by extending greetings,

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The Football methodology also promotes the participation and contribution of girls. Boys learn that girls can be physically and mentally strong and valuable. The early interaction allows the development of a respectful understanding and communication with the other gender. In the specific Pan-Punjabi setting the project will start with separate girl and boy groups, again stepwise introducing cross-gender activities.

In the age range 12-14 the young Explorer-Graduates will be part of the subsequent “Developer-Curriculum” during which they will learn to plan and realize first projects such as sports/school events. The focus is on developing individual interests and talents and on furthering cross-national/intercultural experiences by introducing joint encounter and sports events. First links to international S4D programmes will be established.

After finishing the Developer phase the meanwhile adolescent participants become part of the ”Voyager-Curriculum” which enables them to build networks/teams on cross-cultural and cross-national levels and build global/vocational competencies.

Partners & Pilot. Kick For Tolerance is an unparalleled peace & youth development initiative for the region. It is borne by professional, acknowledged and indigenous NGOs from India (www.yfcrurkakalan.org; www.magicbus.org) and Pakistan (www.sudhaar.org.pk) with vast experience. It is supported by some of the most experienced German and international S4D organizations in this sector contributing on both, programmatic and management levels. An international programme dimension shall be introduced by cross-connecting with other S4D programmes.

A three year pilot with 100 participants, 50 children from each side, is conceptualized and ready to be launched. The UN has accredited Kick For Tolerance through its Office on Sport For Development and Peace. First and acknowledged funders have joined in. We are in the process of organizing co-funding solution and invite interested stakeholders to approach us.

Contact & Information. Kick For Tolerance e.V. Munich/Germany

Clifton Rajesh Grover, CEO info@kickfortolerance.org +49 (0) 179 13 61622


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