IOM and partners leverage the power of sports to empower Ghanaian youth to be resilient
02 July 2021
Through the “Playground” project, IOM and partners have renovated a basketball court to empower the youth to create viable alternatives to irregular migration.
To leverage the educational power of basketball to equip the youth with life skills and to be self-resilient, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners have renovated a basketball court at the GaMashie Development Agency for the youth of Jamestown. The renovation is part of a project titled “Playground”, created to empower young people to create viable alternatives to irregular migration.
Jamestown is one of the oldest communities located on the coast of Accra. It is the home of the James Fort, built by the British as a trading post in 1673. Jamestown is a busy fishing community with markets, homes and colonial architecture of the James Fort inherent to the current socio-economic urban network.
In a press release issued in Accra, IOM notes that the Playground project was made possible through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The renovation of the basketball court in Jamestown is a joint initiative of IOM, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana, the Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEED) Project and DUNK Grassroots,
“Using basketball as a vehicle to foster life skills, is a fantastic approach that will be beneficial for the youth of Jamestown and neighbouring communities. Our youth has a lot of potential, and they need safe spaces to grow and thrive,” said the Mayor of Accra, Honourable Mohammed Adjei Sowah.
“Playground has the youth and community at its heart. We work with our partners to inform about safe migration options as well as the dangers of irregular migration,” said Abibatou Wane-Fall, Chief of Mission IOM Ghana. She added: “Together, we bring the vision of an open and inclusive space to life – a space for girls and boys, young women and young men, from all walks of lives and backgrounds, migrants, returnees, neighbours, and locals. Everyone is invited to play and learn and grow together.”
The Playground project partners work together to empower young people to make well-informed migration choices, to decide on their own futures and to build their dreams. Together with local partners, it builds a culture of self-development and pride on and beyond the court.
“Ensuring youth have access to safe places to play is fundamental, as it’s the place where all the life skills programmes, games and community outreach occur – it all begins on the court,” explained Mactar NDiaye, Director of Operations, SEED Project. “This is why we at SEED are incredibly honored to have worked on the ground with the community of Jamestown to refurbish this basketball court, which also helps better secure their actual needs and ownership.”