Tuesday, 30 April 2013

World Vision donates sports material to schools

World Vision Gahini
WVR Director George Gitau and Bishop Alexis Birndabagabo (L) giving the balls to children. (photo Jean-Christophe Nsanzimana)
World Vision Rwanda has donated sports material to youth in Kayonza districts, Gahini Diocese. The materials include 347 basketballs and 27 soccer balls and were handed to youth representatives on Thursday.
According to World Vision Rwanda National Director George Gitau, the donation is part of the organization’s goal and commitment to partner with churches in order to promote initiatives aimed at using sports and games to improve health, develop life skills, and foster unity and peace among youth.
“Bringing youth together through sports is vital as it provides a forum for them to learn skills such as discipline, confidence, self-esteem, leadership and core principles such as acceptance, cooperation and respect,” he said, adding that sports expand the value of efforts, teamwork and how to manage victory as well as defeat. “Sports can cut across barriers that divide societies, making them a powerful tool to support conflict prevention and peace-building efforts.”
Gitau also noted that sports can be an effective tool for empowering girls, women, given that they are often excluded from participation and from enjoying its physical and psycho-social benefits. He explained that sports integrate people with disabilities into society, providing an arena for positive social interaction, reducing isolation and breaking down prejudices. “Sports programs for the disabled are also cost-effective methods of rehabilitation. They are highly therapeutic, improving motor skills and increasing mobility, self-sufficiency and self-confidence.”
Anglican bishop Alexis Birindabagabo of Gahini Diocese foorhis part said that, through sports, the youth come together to discuss serious matters. “We will bring youth together irrespective of their background or ethnicity to socialize through sports. We have personnel who will be discussing with them various issues such as the importance of money saving, and sharing unity and reconciliation messages, thus minimizing any possible ethnic divisions.”
“Bringing them together will also help us address the issue of drugs abuse and discuss ways of leading a successful, normal life free of drugs,” the bishop stressed. “When you go fishing, you take what fishes like and not what you like. Through games, the youth can be involved in any campaign. They are the Rwanda of today, tomorrow and even afterwards because they will be the ones to light the path to their offspring. They cannot do so sustainably unless they are well-raised adults.”
WVR has also donated 500 wheelchairs to the Diocese, which were distributed mainly to youth with disabilities. Early last month, WVR through its partnership with the diocese, also distributed 20,000 pairs of shoes to 23 schools in line to promote hygiene and sanitation practices among students.
According to the mayor of Kayonza, John Mugabo, WVR has in addition built 16 houses for vulnerable families, 2 schools and partnered with the district in getting water close to the people.


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