Thursday 27 February, 2020

JOA, UNESCO team up for social change, scientific research

JOA General Secretary and CEO, Ryan Foster (second left), shakes hands with Gisselle Burbano (second right), UNESCO representative, Caribbean Cluster, following the signing of a MOU between both parties at Olympic Manor, the JOA's headquarters on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston. Looking on are JOA Board members Michael Frater, President Christopher Samuda and Alan Beckford.

JOA General Secretary and CEO, Ryan Foster (second left), shakes hands with Gisselle Burbano (second right), UNESCO representative, Caribbean Cluster, following the signing of a MOU between both parties at Olympic Manor, the JOA's headquarters on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston. Looking on are JOA Board members Michael Frater, President Christopher Samuda and Alan Beckford.

Given its impact and influence, sport has often been channelled as one of society’s foremost vehicles for change.

Influences of human athletic prowess will again be utilised in this regard by virtue of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by sports’ parent body in this country, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and global ambassadors, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The worldwide body is using sports as a conduit, given their recognition of sports as a key contributor to the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda.

The project’s main focal points, as explained by Ryan Foster,  Secretary-General and CEO of the JOA, encompasses a campaign for social inclusion and gender equality; increased attention on youth; and research on sport as an agent for social change.

“Research findings will then be applied at both the local and regional level, given the fact that Jamaica is viewed as a leader among Caribbean Nations,” Foster noted, during the recent signing of the MOU at Olympic Manor, the sporting body’s headquarters in Kingston.

He further shared the blueprint’s action items.

“There are presently two expected deliverables in the initial stage of this framework; one being the local production and presentation of films during a local festival; as well as the international level at the 2020  FICTS Festival held annually in Italy. The second is the execution of a regional workshop aimed at promoting the use of Olympic values and education programme and sport as a vehicle for sustainable development in the Caribbean, from which participants are expected to launch and develop across the region,” explained Foster.

JOA boss Christopher Samuda further expounded on this significant relationship with the powerful and far-reaching UN body.

He said: “Sport is cultural and sport unites nations of this world. We welcome this partnership with UNESCO for social and community development, we welcome this partnership as sport is being used as a  value proposition and we welcome this partnership as sport now becomes the context and text for bilateral cooperation in achieving multiple life-changing goals and outcomes.”

Samuda said the coalition “will not only educate but enlighten, for the Olympic flame kindles the light of humanity, sparks the intellect and emboldens reason."

Gisselle Burbano, UNESCO Cluster Office, Caribbean, noted the work that went into forging this partnership and was especially happy to have sealed the deal with the JOA because of the regional respect the country commands.

“I must say that I feel extremely inspired and motivated and definitely I want to see that which Mr Samuda so wisely described and mentioned because we believe that without partnerships,  without the work that different stakeholders can do, we will never be able to maximise the power of sport,” said Burbano.

 

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