USAID SCORE Promotes Reconciliation and Social Cohesion Through Youth Sports Festival

sports festival SCORE sri lankaUsing sports as a vehicle for reconciliation and increased social cohesion, USAID SCORE together with the National Youth Services Council organized a sports festival recently in Maduruketiya, at the school grounds in the Monaragala district. SCORE is a three-year social cohesion and reconciliation activity implemented Global Communities to strengthen Sri Lankan led efforts to advance social cohesion and reconciliation through community platforms.

250 Sinhala and Tamil youth club members of the National Youth Council participated in the festival, which empowered the youth to help bridge the divide between ethnic groups, creating unity and tolerance among youth in the region.

sports festival sri lanka SCOREAs part of the festival 17 teams of mixed ethnicity took part in a volleyball tournament aimed at forging positive relationships that transcend ethnicity and religion. There was no emphasis on winning as all teams were acknowledged equally and following the tournament, the teams engaged in various “shramadhana (group labor project) activities in their communities, strengthening the mutual understanding and trust developed throughout the tournament.

Sport plays an important role in empowering the youth to exercise leadership and promote reconciliation and social cohesion as it has the power to break barriers and build trust between diverse ethnic groups.  

Strengthening community sports facilities is part of SCORE’s wider framework of supporting community-driven initiatives that promote social cohesion and reconciliation and bring about positive change in multi ethnic, rural communities.