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Linking Sport and the Environment to the Peace and Poverty Agenda in Kenya, 2008

 

UNEP and Underprivileged Children and Youth Kick Off New Reconciliation Initiative


Nairobi, 18 June 2008 – More than 300 children and teenagers from across Nairobi will gather on 21 June for the launch of a three-month event to promote peace and reconciliation.

The 'Play for the Planet: Play for Peace' initiative, organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has received about $40,000 of support in cash and in kind from UNEP, the International Olympic Committee and sports-goods maker PUMA, as well as the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) and ABC Bank. It will run until 21 September to coincide with World Peace Day.

The event aims to use the power of sport to promote peace and reconciliation among Kenyans, and to provide a positive environment for interaction for young people affected by the recent post-election conflict in Kenya.

The 21 June launch at the Kenya Cultural Centre will include theatre performances, acrobatic shows, peace and environmental messages and a live concert, as well as an exhibition of paintings by internally displaced children.

A series of events for children and youth aged 6 to 24 will then take place in schools and communities across the parts of Nairobi most affected by the recent unrest: the informal settlements of Mathare, Huruma, Mathare North, Kibera, Dandora and Korogocho.

Activities in schools and at community level will include talks, drama workshops, tree planting and a clean-up of the Nairobi river, as well as weekend sports tournaments. Community-based organizations will help implement the activities, and youth peer counsellors trained by UN-HABITAT will also provide counselling to the affected and traumatized children.

Kenyan sports personalities such as world-famous marathon runners Paul Tergat and Catherine Ndereba will attend some of the events.

Based on the success of the event, UNEP may consider extending the initiative to other parts of the country which were affected by the unrest.

Notes to editors

This is the first edition of UNEP's sports and 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 the Environment endorsed by UNEP Governing Council in 2003.

Homeboyz radio will provide live coverage for the opening event on 21 June.

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 20 762 3088, Mobile: + 254 728600494; 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