Mogadishu (DIPLOMAT)-The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today handed over 4,500 indestructible footballs to the Federal Government of Somalia for on-ward transmission to children and youth groups throughout the country to teach them life skills and promote peace.
The footballs were recently donated to AMISOM by One World Futbol Project through the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA).
Speaking at the handover of the footballs to the Federal Government of Somalia, the Acting Head of AMISOM, Honourable Lydia Wanyoto Mutende, said African Union recognised sport as one of the key pillars of social transformation and development.
Hon. Wanyoto said the Federal Government of Somalia and Somali Football Association would distribute the footballs to schools, youth groups and disadvantaged groups across the country to promote peace, education, human rights, equality and social inclusion, and to improve health.
”Football games, at community, national and global level have long been idealized as a way to heal wounds, mend fences, and rise above differences among cultures, religions and nations. Soccer is often viewed as so transcendent of politics and prejudice that even nations embroiled in war lay down their arms and come together to cheer on their teams. And this can be true in Somalia,” she said.
Director of United Nation Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) Amadu Kamara said that the football donations provided the Government, UNSOA and AMISOM to work together with tangible results in trying to provide entertainment for the much neglected youth of Somalia.
Representing the Federal Government of Somalia, The Minister of Youth and Sports Khalid Omar Ali said that the Federal Government of Somalia supported by AMISOM and UNSOA would use soccer as a vehicle for uniting the country at all levels and for promoting development.
Sandra Cress, the Director of One World Futbol Project in Africa said the organisation distributes the nearly indestructible footballs to disadvantaged communities, where soccer can be used to teach life skills and foster social change.