Before the girls of SWB Granada headed into the holiday season and school break with their families, we had the chance to host one of the most unifying, girls-specific events to-date.
One hundred and six girls, their parents, coaches, referees, and other community members gathered together for the fourth annual "Global Peace Games", or Copa de Paz as it is called in Nicaragua. The Global Peace Games are an opportunity for young people all over the world to articulate their commitment to doing their part in achieving the UN's Millenium Development goals. More simply, it is a tournament that symbolizes coming together across differences in support of peace. The signature event of the Global Peace Games is the reading of a letter from the United Nations followed by the signing of the Manifesto for Peace. By signing, players pledge to "respect all life, reject all violence, share with others, listen to understand, preserve the planet, and contribute to the development of community."
This event has ranked among the most special of SWB Granada events each year, yet in the past it has proved nearly impossible to organize the event solely for girls. Boys teams always fill in the holes, so that our girls can have opponents. We were determined for this year to be different. Throughout 2012, we had tripled our efforts to engage girls in schools through gym classes, and had developed strong relationships with a few schools. As the Global Peace Games drew near, we extended invitations to gym teachers at a few of those schools to organize and train a girls' team to play in the 2012 Peace Games. To our great surprise and fortune, a few of the invitations were accepted, allowing our SWB Granada participants the opportunity to compete against age and gender appropriate teams.
The four invited teams assembled next to the eight SWB Granada teams early the morning of the tournamnet, a short ways away from the playing fields. Clusters of brightly colored jerseys collectively jittered with excitement as the tournament grew near. As coaches prepared their teams to parade to the fields, the smattering of color shifted into organized lines. It was moving to see the girls proudly donning their respective jerseys and it was clear that the girls sensed a strong camaraderie within their teams. With no further instruction from their coaches, the lines moved forward towards the fields. As they did, the girls at the front of the line linked hands with their friends on opposing teams. The spontaneous and symbolic extension of friendship was strong and beautiful, just like the girls. That powerful moment set the tone for a fantastic day of competition balanced with the forging of new friendships.
Speaking of new friendships, we are proud to announce a new partnership with our friends at Activyst, who are developing new girl-specific products and supporting SWB Granada through their efforts. This month, they are donating $1 for every new "Like" to their Facebook page. Please consider liking their page to support SWB Granada!
Thank you for continuing to invest in us in 2013. We hope that you have a lovely holiday season filled with beautiful moments like those from our Global Peace Games.
Local Director SWB Granada
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