1. Needs assessment/feasibility study in Eastern DRC alongside local leaders
2. Form organizational structure with capacity for growth and sustainability
3. Communicate initiative to everyone
4. Become experts on the subject matters at hand
5. Form collaborative partnerships/friendships
6. Prepare our teammates who will be physically working in the region
7. Acquire resources necessary to make this reality (tools for fields, equipment, flights, etc)
7. Establish physical presence in the region
8. Strengthen relationships and trust with communities
9. Work with leaders to develop leagues with established set of values and principles
10. Develop fields alongside communities
11. Begin community leagues
12. Begin inter-community leagues
13. Learn. Sustain. Grow. Repeat.
1. 2009- Established sports as ideal mechanism to meet needs of youth affected by conflict & to prevent conflict from recurring
2. Formed team of 6 (all in our 20s - currently in Toronto, Nashville, San Diego, Washington DC, & Paris) & a logistical partnership with Synergie Simama. Incorporated, received 501c3 status, & are working toward a sustainability model called Training4Change (first event- July 9th & 10th)
3. Created website, e-update letter, Facebook page, Twitter, Flikr, & are members of Guidestar and Grassroots.org
4. Two on team finished their Masters of International Peace & Conflict Resolution. Receive Google Alerts for all relevant current events. Constantly connect with organizations to learn from their experiences. Members of team are working with physically & mentally disabled populations.
5. Received Dosomething.org seed grant, work with JustLoveCoffee.org, & discussing possible partnerships with Eastern Congo Initiative, Sammy Wilkinson Fund, & Bana ya Village.
6. Members in Paris working on French language skills & other has distinguished soccer certificates in US.
Actions 7-13 will all move toward reconciliation, inclusion and peace.
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
Year 1. We have to make sure this is sustainable before we physically begin the project. It would not be fair to the communities if we begin prematurely (though we are anxious/excited for it to take place). Community participation is key from the beginning. Also, initial leadership is crucial - local leaders (and our team) must exhibit support from the youth who will participate.
Year 2. Commitment - Everyone must maintain committed in light of unseen challenges. Inclusion - there must be equal participation opportunities and resources for all the youth in the communities. Cooperation - everyone must learn/strive to work together in light of differences. Equipment must also be maintained and available as needed.
Year 3. Inter-community leagues must be fair, fun, and safe. This will require communication, sharing of resources, honesty, and trust from leaders and participants.
Over the next 5 years, our goal is to learn from the Ituri project and take this same community based, sport in reconciliation & development approach to other communities affected by conflict.
What would prevent your project from being a success?
This project will be unsuccessful if there is a lack of commitment. Commitment drives everything. If fighting breaks out we have to be committed to stick with this project and these communities afterward. If misunderstandings arise, everyone must be committed to listen and work to find common ground. A lack of commitment to communicate, understand, try, learn, connect, respect, forgive, heal, teach, empower, lead, grow, move forward - a lack of commitment to any or all of these on a corporate level would prevent the success of the project.