This project empowers youth from different ethnic groups in Kosovo with ways to use sport as a tool for social good to repair the divisions that continue to separate their society. PLAY International supports inspiring young people to lead the way to a more hopeful future of tolerance, acceptance and inclusion.
It is 20 years since the war in Kosovo which tore apart communities and created physical and psychological divisions along ethnic lines. Atrocities, unsolved missing persons cases, a lack of justice, and Kosovo's unresolved status have all fuelled one-sided, nationalist discourses affecting every part of life. Youth and children have little opportunity to change this dynamic as their upbringing reinforces, rather than resolves, prejudice, discrimination, distrust and even hatred.
PLAY International provides a unique platform for youth from different ethnic communities to learn new skills and lead change together in their local area. They grow as leaders thanks to inter-cultural and sport animation trainings, at the same time as becoming part of a diverse group, who have regular opportunities to be together. These volunteer groups run multi-ethnic, inclusive and inspiring activities for children, giving them a chance to undo prejudice and lay seeds for a peaceful future.
Sport and play provide a unique way of bringing people together. This project gives youth from all ethnic communities a chance to change their own lives and positively impact on the futures of others. PLAY International works with local partners including schools and youth clubs to ensure that the work continues after the project finishes. Furthermore, these positive experiences impressed on young minds create a legacy of acceptance and inclusion that build the foundations of a peaceful future.