This project aims to improve the lives of more than 230,000 children and youth in disadvantaged communities in West and Francophone Africa using Sport and Play for Development and Peace (SPDP) programming. SPDP programming intentionally uses sport, physical activity and play to improve education, health, gender equality and child protection for vulnerable children and youth. Some project activities include: (1) implementing twice-weekly sport and play activities for children and youth, especially girls; (2) providing training for teachers, coaches, caregivers, and children and youth on the right to play, health, education, gender equality, inclusion and child protection; (3) providing core training and follow-up support to coaches, teachers, and partners to help them integrate sport and play methodologies into their coaching and daily teaching; (4) building and rehabilitating safe play spaces, classrooms and sanitation facilities, ensuring appropriate spaces for girls and women; and (5) conducting knowledge sharing and learning forums and meetings to share best practices in use of SPDP. To ensure sustainability, the project also seeks to improve the ability and commitment of teachers, coaches, communities, national governments and key stakeholders to continue delivering sport- and play-based programs to children and youth at risk and to integrate SPDP methodologies into national development goals.
The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: (1) increased positive, physical, cognitive, emotional and social development of participating children and youth, in particular girls; (2) increased commitment by teachers, coaches and community members to use sport and play methodologies; and (3) increased engagement of national governments and local and international stakeholders to deliver and fund gender-sensitive, sustainable sport and play programs.
Results achieved as of the end of this 12 month project (June 2015) include: (1) 109 teachers and coaches increased their skills to use child-centred sport- and play-based methodologies; (2) 51 out of 63 (81.3%) teachers demonstrated improved knowledge and attitudes related to gender equality, inclusion, positive discipline and child protection; (3) teachers and coaches conducted child –centred sport play –based activities with 1,305 children reaching 79% of the project target. Boys and girls demonstrated positive life skills and health knowledge; (4) 1,388 out 1653 (84.7%) of children and youth demonstrated their ability to describe safe and child and youth-friendly learning environments. As this was a short -term project, it was not possible to collect evidenced-based data towards the contribution of improved health and education outcomes for participating children and youth aged 2-18.