Sports for all: a pillar of social cohesion

By: Nanna Hølge-Hazelton, Student Assistant in CCPA Copenhagen 

Last week the Minister of Youth and Sports in Tunisia invited the EU Ambassador, Patrice Bergamini, to visit one of CCPA´s most progressive projects in the country. The project is placed in the capital Tunis and has the name “Sports for all: a pillar of social cohesion”. It is initiated and led by Marwen Chaieb who has a Doctor Degree and expertise in traditional sports games from Tunisia.

Through the project Dr. Chaieb has changed one of Tunis´ most criminal areas into a mekka full of sports and traditional games for the local people, especially for kids and for the youth. A wide range of activities are offered every single week: Triathlon, judo, petanque, basketball, boxing, football, volleyball, and traditional games. One of the goals for Dr. Chaieb is to offer young people – both boys and girls – a meaningful community based on sport and friendships, in order to avoid them from hanging on the streets and maybe getting into drugs and crime.

In July 2018 21 young volunteer coaches instructed no less than 548 young people in the eight different disciplines. This number was way higher than the expected number of 300 participants, and shows that Sport for all: a pillar of social cohesion is a popular and needed initiative in a city where it can be hard for girls to do sports in the regular sports clubs, and where lots of young people are unemployed. And the CCPA program does help young people; some of the volunteer coaches used to be dealing drugs, but are now activated in the program, where they have an important position in the community, and have become role models for younger kids.  

Sport for all: a pillar of social cohesion is the first of its kind in Tunisia, but five more are already in progress around the country. The Minister of Youth and Sport in Tunisia has proclaimed that she is so found about the project, that she will support a doubling in the number of youth houses with sports activities for social cohesion, in order for them to reach the whole country. 

The program is sponsored by the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme, DAPP.