Participation in Communities and Crisis : Inclusive Development through Sport Seminar

Date: 2016-11-07

Change for Health Nepal participated "Communities & Crisis: Inclusive Development through sport" seminar held in Rheinsberg, Germany.

The seminar received the participants and speakers representing more than 15 countries. The seminar began with an ice breakers on the first day which was an opportunity for the participants to get to know each other better.

The first speaker of the seminar, Dr. Gudrun Doll-Tepper presented a general view of inclusion and its challenges in a global context. Following her session, Ken Black focused on sport pedagogy while ensuring that participants had a chance to try out different practical exercises.

Dr. Lydia Zijdel, as a presentator of the first day, presented the work developed by the foundation that was not only named after her but which has also been able to build off of her efforts to empower disabled people. Her presentation was based on a project with persons with disabilities in refugee camps in Africa and Middle East. Her session also concluded with practical experiences which gave participants different ways to implement physical activity projects with limited resources.

In the evening,a documentary Freedom Runners is shown that details the ways Mr. Rotem Genossar, one of the participant from Israel, is utilizing running with his students of refugee backgrounds in their very challenging pathways to citizenship. 

Representatives learned as providers of sports and physical activity for psychosocial intervention in crisis situations that they must understand how the brain responds and copes with disaster situations. 

Professor Alan Kirk started off the day with a series of practical mental exercises to enable participants to appreciate that the human brain has enormous capabilities to record and respond in special ways and to maintain balance in specific circumstances. The next seminar presented by Jutta Engelhardt highlighted 7 development topics addressed through sport and the important role of the facilitator. 

Professors Irene McClatchey and Ardith Peters spoke to the different approaches that have proven to be effective in working with traumatized youth, particularly those with a refugee background.

The high point of the session was when participants moulded figures out of clay, symbolizing things that we cherished or missed in our lives and while presenting them to the rest of the group, suddenly all was destroyed. Jutta Engelhardt had planned to have two persons come in during the end of the session, stomping on the clay figures and crushing them with a table. The violent act was to represent what the victims of disaster experience. The destruction of people's cherished pieces elicited an array of emotions from the participants, just the way it does for the real victims of disaster.

The third day of the seminar began with a lecture about how to create an NGO. Professors Dr. Ardith Peters and Dr. Irena McClatchey presented a theoretical framework for creating an NGO consisting of 4 stages: needs assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation. They discussed the different stages and further clarified it by using Dr. McClatchey’s program for traumatized children in Georgia, USA as a case study. It was really interesting to learn how a
n NGO be created by better understanding both the theoretical and practical concepts.

Prof. Ken Black presented to use practical inclusive activities for people with various needs. This session saw different models used to ensure for inclusive physical activities which include those that stress effective structures, flexible tools, a continuum of skill development and a social-environmental approach. We saw how to use the STEP model, which has as a basic principle the modification of various physical activities in order to engage all people.

Dr. Dean Ravizza and his interesting lecture on the best practices on the topic of using sport for vulnerable disadvantaged children.The lecture increased the knowledge and skills on using sport as a tool for social reintegration and social inclusion especially while using as a psycho social tool to deal with vulnerable children in general and refugee children in specific.

On 3th November, Dr. Marianne Meier, University of Bern, spoke about gender and sport and the challenges in crisis areas. The sesssion was useful to learn the ways to examine situations with a gender lens, calling for an understanding of socio cultural factors. Participants introduced their different games to meet and interact with the residents with disabilitiess in the eveining. 

Katrin Bauer, a research assistant at the German Sport University Cologne opened up her session by mapping out the services provided by her university and then diving into scientific evaluations, calling two participants from her university to share their experiences in this field. This session was dedicated to better understanding the research and evaluation methods around sport for development, including a focus on monitoring and evaluation methods and tools, and a deeper understanding of what sustainability is and how it can be measured. 

As a final speaker of the seminar, Dr. Marianne Meier presented on securing sustainability through good practices and examining the project cycle management, particularly the evaluation stage, participants were better prepared to understand the alternative means of measuring impact. The tremendous growth in regard to development and solving many others socials concerns through the use of sport and physical activities is being experienced today.  “Monitoring and Evaluation” is the most important part of any projects. Participants agreed that this knowledge will help them to be more effective and efficient in future projects, be able to easily convince decision makers and investors to allocate more funds and to overall contribute more to the academic field. 

The last session of the day was dedicated to group presentations. The presentations of each group made us see the real scenario of how calamities either natural or man-made can affect us all. We had to present how we should equip ourselves in such situations and determine how to support the affected populations.

Mr. Machhindra Acharya, Vice-President of the organization participate the seminar Program that held between 30th October - 5th November, 2016 in Rheinsberg, Germany. Rheinsberg is one of the popular tourist places of Germany. 

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