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Press Release

More than 2,000 youth Play for the Planet in Nairobi
20/ 11/ 2009

More than 2,000 youth Play for the Planet in NairobiAs the whole planet starts gearing up to the World Cup in South Africa, more than 2,000 youth are set to gather in Nairobi to Play for the Planet

Nairobi, 20 November 2009 - As the whole planet starts gearing up to the World Cup in South Africa, more than 2,000 youth will gather in Nairobi to Play for the Planet from 21 November to 6 December.

The 'Play for the Planet: Play for Peace' competition, now in its second year, is organized by non-profit organization Mavuno Michezo with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Olympic Committee and Bayer East Africa.

It will bring together youth aged 14 to 18 from across Nairobi for a series of football games and environmental activities.

A total of 64 teams, eight from each constituency in Nairobi, will take part in the competition which will run on three consecutive weekends from 21 November to 6 December. Eight female teams - one per constituency - will also participate in the finals of the competition on 6 December. Winners will be awarded with trophies, medals and football kits.

The 'Play for the Planet: Play for Peace' initiative, first organized in June 2008, aims to use the power of sport to promote peace and reconciliation among Kenyans. It also provides a positive environment for interaction for young people who are one of the groups that are the most affected by hardship, violence, social tensions and other challenges in society.

It is hoped that by providing an opportunity for young people from various ethnic communities to participate in team activities, the initiative will help promote social cohesion and peace. It will also provide a platform for young people, particularly those on school break, to engage in constructive activities.

Through t-shirts and other materials, peace building and environmental messages will be conveyed to the youth as well as to the general public. The participants will also participate in tree planting and other environmental clean-up activities in their communities.

In June 2008, a few months after the post-election conflict that rocked Kenya, the first edition of the 'Play for the Planet' initiative brought together more than 300 children and youth for a three-month series of school and community activities on peace and reconciliation that culminated in World Peace Day on 21 September.

The matches in the constituencies will take place at the following locations: Starehe Constituency - Huruma Flats; Embakasi Constituency - Dandora Tom Mboya, Makadara Constituency - Makongeni; Dagoretti Constituency - Kawangware Primary; Lang'ata Constituency - Lang'ata High School; Kamukunji Constituency - Shauri Moyo; Kasarani Constituency - (TBC); Westlands Contituency - Hospital Hill. The venue for the grand finale on 6 December will be announced later.

Notes to Editors:

This is the second edition of Play for the Planet: Play for Peace initiative. The aim is to use sport as an avenue to promote and foster peace, in line with UNEP's long term strategy on Sport and Environment endorsed by the UNEP Governing Council in 2003.

Mavuno Michezo is organizing this year's event with support from UNEP, the IOC and Bayer. Mavuno Michezo is a non-profit society that promotes the development of sports, social cohesion and environmental conservation in Kenya. It supports children's homes in Kisumu and Mombasa and organizes sports events for corporate organizations. Its members are young professionals from different fields and backgrounds. More information on Mavuno can be found on www.mavunomichezo.org.

The IOC has provided all the equipment for the competition and additional sponsorship has been provided by Bayer and UNEP.


For more information please contact:
Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, Office of the Executive Director, on Tel: +254 20 762 3084; Mobile: 254 733 632 755 or when traveling +41 795 965 737; E-mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org
Or Anne-France White, Associate Information Officer, on Tel: +254 728 600 494; E-mail: anne-france.white@unep.org
Or Theodore Oben, Chief of UNEP's Outreach Unit, on Tel: +254 724 255 247; E-mail: theodore.oben@unep.org

Or John Ochola, Secretary of Mavuno Michezo on tel: +254 733 347 129; E-mail: jaochola@yahoo.com

Further Resources
UNEP: Sport and Environment
UNEP: Billion Tree Campaign
UNEP Promotes Sports and Environment Initiative in Kenya