Youth gather in Ancient Olympia to Save their Dream of building peace through sport
On the eve of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, around 40 young people from over 20 countries gathered last week at the International Olympic Academy in Ancient Olympia to engage in interactive workshops and sport activities to promote equality and peace, as well as learn about how sport plays an important role in peace and conflict resolution.
The “2nd Imagine Peace Youth Camp” was organised by the International Olympic Truce Centre (IOTC) in collaboration with the British Council and Save the Dream as educational partners and under the auspices of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace.
Save the Dream, a global programme which works to promote and protect the purity of sport for young people, and the International Olympic Truce Centre formalised their cooperation in 2015 through a Memorandum of Understanding. Since then, Save the Dream have been actively working in contributing to this event as an educational partner.
At the birthplace of the Olympism, Save the Dream have contributed to the initiative by delivering a workshop on Sport in building intercultural understanding. Also thanks to
its technological partner, Ooredoo, Save the Dream has made it possible for 10 participants, including young refugees and students from Middle East countries to participate in this unique learning mobility opportunity.
Pedro Velázquez, Director – Save the Dream, said:
“By participating in this initiative, Save the Dream wants to empower youth multipliers to better understand how sport can restore dignity, dialogue and mutual understanding in societies where violence, discrimination and conflicts have dramatically jeopardised the human condition.
“As a movement of people and organisations who love sport and believe that sport values can protect this dream, Save the Dream aims to provide young people with an avenue of hope for young people and use the values of sport as a bridge to promote greater understanding within society.”
Constantinos Filis, Director International Olympic Truce Centre, said:
“Over the past five days, we were given the opportunity to come closer together, to learn the characteristics of different cultures and religions, to coexist with persons of different backgrounds, ideologies and, possibly, different outlooks. So we had the opportunity to get to know what is different, special and unique in each of us. And, through these differences, to realize how much we share, how identical our concerns are, how much we want a better world.”
The 2nd Imagine Peace Youth Camp confirmed in the clearest possible manner that the young generation has a lot to offer. We all recognized the inventiveness, the creativity, the passion, dedication and devotion, the freshness of the youth’s proposals; that is, all the components that, together, make up their and by extension our strength.
Akef Mussafer, Afghan student resident in in Italy, said:
“I am very happy to have participated in this initiative as I think it is crucial for young people from different cultural backgrounds to meet and to reflect together about how to build a peaceful world, I am convinced that sport can help to give peace a chance”