Each September, SWB Uganda, along with our other SWB Programs in the U.S. and Nicaragua, takes part in the International Day of Peace—a day established by the United Nations, “for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.” As a community with players and coaches from many different backgrounds and countries, SWB Uganda explores the meanings of unity and teamwork on a daily basis through our ongoing programs. This Global Peace Day, however, we took it up a notch and hosted a huge Peace Celebration in Kampala!
SWB Uganda kicked off our Peace Day events at our community center in Nsambya where our mentor-coaches led players through discussions focused on individual understandings of peace. For Gloria, one of SWB’s players and a Girls Empowerment Program participant, peace has a specific meaning: “To me, peace means safety. Safety to be myself, and safety to live my life.” —Gloria, age 15
Staff and players then took their reflections to the soccer field for an afternoon of team-building activities and a Football3 Tournament that integrated the themes of peacebuilding, teamwork, and unity into each round of play. In the Football3 style of game-play, players take control of the game, acting as referees and establishing additional rules for each match. On Peace Day, all of these additional rules connected directly to the themes of the day and were collectively developed and agreed upon through discussions between teams. During these discussions, multiple voices were heard and different opinions and ideas were incorporated into the various rules. Each of the Football3 Peace Day Games ended with a “third half,” during which coaches led teams in a debrief of the game and players awarded their opponents extra points based on their efforts to follow the added Peace Day rules. The day provided everyone with a chance to laugh, play, communicate, collaborate, reflect, and have fun! "I love football3 because it gives us the chance to make our own rules and solve problems without the coaches. It's fun to mix the teams and play with the younger boys and the girls teams too! It's a fun way to spend Peace Day!" —Mukamba, age 14
While International Peace Day marks an important day to reflect and celebrate the value that each one of our players, coaches, and staff brings to our teams and community, we strive to reflect upon and celebrate this everyday at SWB. We work to bring cultural and peer exchange into all aspects of our programming, creating safe spaces where our participants’ diversity is seen as an asset that is celebrated year round