Play Proud

As part of our vision we strive to provide a safe space for all to thrive and inclusion is an important piece of that. Recently Jean Kendy our Operations Manager attended a workshop organized by Street football World in Collaboration with Laureus, Sport for Good and the Sacred Sports Foundation. Here is his post on his trip:

During the training in St Lucia, I had the chance to gain new knowledge about human rights, inclusion and gender equality. Present at the workshop were a multitude of NGOs that use soccer for development as a tool for people in order they can create a better life.

Streetfootballworld in North America and the Caribbean introduced “Play Proud” which is a project designed to implement an innovative inclusive gender sensitive program. This project has created a model approach of inclusion and gender justice, encompassing the development of safe spaces and critical implementation tools encouraging greater diversity in the North America and the Caribbean (NOCA) regions and eventually worldwide. The “Play Proud” project represents a great opportunity to put human rights and gender equality at the heart of what we do as key organizations working with adolescents and youth.

All the participants highlighted some key ideas on how people understand gender in their country of origin or where they are working, the stereotypes and barriers they are facing and the strategies they are using to communicate to children and youth about these issues. Behaviors and attitudes in patriarchal societies, stereotypes and misunderstanding of personal choices influence the social perceptions and representations of each other. It is now clear for me that regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, everyone deserves respect and has to be considered with values and dignity.

This workshop is very relevant to us and helped me to understand better the concepts of human rights and gender sensitivity, and overall, allowed me to create new networking with the other agencies using sports for development approach as we are doing at GOALS Haiti. It is essential that we mention that we take seriously gender equality within our programs into which boys and girls participate equally with zero tolerance against harm and discrimination based on their sex and gender.

I am now feeling more open about talking on these topics and will be able to deliver key messages related to them to ensure that our participants can see the importance of human rights, inclusion and gender equality. I will use our Sexual Education Classes to work with children and adolescents participating in our program and will extend this to the parents via community meetings. At GOALS, we are always promoting “no one left behind” and because of the skills I have acquired from this workshop, I will be able to help GOALS achieve this objective. We will be more effective by taking into consideration the most vulnerable people within our communities.