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ACCORD celebrates World Peace Day with youth

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ACCORD teamed-up with WhizzKids United for an International Peace Day Celebration on 21st September. In support of the UN 2010 theme of 'Peace, Youth and Development', ACCORD staff joined 150 Grade 5 learners who competed in a “World Cup” Tournament to graduate from a year-long 'On the Ball' WhizzKids United programme at Clarence Primary School in Greyville, South Africa.

Addressing the gathering, ACCORD founder and Executive Director, Vasu Gounden, highlighted the significance of World Peace Day and the important work of the United Nations and African Union to bring an end to war and violent conflict in Africa and the world. The Peace Day ceremony included lighting a Flame of Peace and observing a minute of silence for Peace in Africa.

Roger Palmgren, Sports Director for AmaZulu FC, congratulated the players, both boys and girls, for the 'Fair Play' they had shown during the tournament. He shared his experiences of football as a positive force for peace in Africa, as it unites people and gives them hope and joy. Roger has first-hand experience of football in African countries ravaged by war and conflict through his work with the national teams of Sierra Leone, DRC and Rwanda.

WhizzKids United operates in both rural and urban areas in three African countries: South Africa, Ghana and Uganda. In South Africa they are active in three provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, the North West, and the Western Cape. A total of over 12,000 youth have come through the 'On the Ball' programme in South Africa since 2006. The curriculum teaches life skills through the medium of soccer and includes looking at gender equality, elements of conflict management and an understanding of HIV/AIDS.

In related events on World Peace Day, ACCORD hosted an African Standby Force (ASF) Civilian Dimension Technical Workshop in Pretoria, South Africa. The Workshop was conducted in collaboration with the AU Peace Support Operations Division (PSOD) for the Principal Heads and Civilian Focal Points of the ASF Planning Elements at the AU and Regional Economic Community (REC)/Regional Economic Mechanism levels.

ACCORD also presented the initial findings from the field research undertaken by in Southern Sudan during July/August 2010 at a UNMIS Civil Affairs internal workshop in Juba, Sudan. 

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