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Sports for Peace

Fostering Peace and Unity Through Sports

The Sports for Peace project (S4P), a collaboration with Al Midan organization, is dedicated to fostering peace and transforming conflicts by actively engaging and empowering young people, particularly those at risk of social exclusion. The S4P pilot started in mid-September 2023 and ran till mid-February 2024 in Al Mankoubeen - North Lebanon. By utilizing sports as a powerful tool, this project aims to promote social and cultural integration and to empower personal and social competencies and skills.

Through the unifying power of sports, the program enhances social cohesion, transform conflicts peacefully, and inspire positive change within communities. The S4P project in Lebanon serves as a pioneering initiative to promote peacebuilding and support the integration of disadvantaged communities through the transformative power of sports.


Living in a violent environment, Lebanese youth, particularly adolescent boys and girls, are more prone to both experiencing and causing various forms of violence. The socio-political instability, polarization, and ongoing conflicts among different communities have significantly impacted children and adolescents. This has led to violence not only in the streets but also in schools and universities.

Sports, a dynamic communication platform, serves to spread messages of solidarity, reconciliation, and peace, as well as foster a culture of dialogue by promoting core values such as respect, fair play, and teamwork. By harnessing these potential contributions of sport, the project aims to make a positive difference in the lives of youth, fostering a harmonious and resilient society.


The project’s main objectives:

Promoting social cohesion: By bringing together youths from different backgrounds, including Lebanese, Syrian refugees, Palestinian refugees, and migrants, the project creates a space where they can interact, understand each other's perspectives, and find common ground. 

Building friendships and support networks: By engaging in shared activities and collaboratively overcoming challenges, the participants forge a sense of camaraderie and solidarity that extends beyond the sports field with participating youths and their support networks, including coaches, parents, caregivers, and community stakeholders. These connections serve as vital sources of emotional and social support, particularly in marginalised communities where such support is crucial. 

Empowering youth as role models: The project empowers the participating youths to become positive role models in their communities. Through the skills they acquire during the program, such as teamwork, leadership, and conflict resolution, they can serve as agents of change. 

The project’s main components:

Phase I

Select and train community-based coaches on the Sports for Development and Peace approach to enhance and empower them with tools for conflict transformation. The emphasis is on using Peace Education tools such as “Hawli w Hawalaye” to introduce the project’s new concept to the coaches. 

Eleven coaches from the Zgharta and Al Mankoubeen communities participated in the workshop that was held at Al Midan in Zgharta.

Phase II

Work with 6 teams of boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18 years from different backgrounds and areas in Lebanon. Ten sessions were organized on topics from the Peace Education manual aiming to:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
  • Improve life skills related to peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and social cohesion.
  • Increase social cohesion and mutual respect 
  • Foster positive behavioural changes among youth, leading to reduced violence and negative behaviours.

Phase III

The evaluations for the project were conducted on two levels - the coaches and the children. For the coaches, a need assessment and a questionnaire were carried out at the beginning and end of the project to evaluate the skills they gained and the impact of the imparted skills on the children. With the children, a focus group discussion (FGD) was conducted both at the beginning of the project, before the sessions were implemented, and at the end of the sessions. This was done to understand the benefits that the children could take away from the project after 10 sessions.

Expansion of the Sports for Peace Project

As a new idea within forumZFD, the project started as a test balloon by combining sports activities and Peace Education under one umbrella. Based on the encouraging feedback received from both coaches and children, the S4P project team plans to expand their work by introducing it in Zgharta in addition to Al Mankoubeen. The focus of this expansion will not only be on the coaches and children but also on the parents. The team intends to include them in the planning process to ensure the success of the project.

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