COUNTRIES: Global
DURATION: 09/12/2016 - 09/30/2022
FUNDER: U.S. Department of State
CONTACTlaurel.cunningham@worldlearning.org

Program Description

The International Sports Programming Initiative uses sports to promote tolerance and respect for diversity and to help underserved youth around the world develop important leadership skills and achieve academic success.

The International Sports Programming Initiative uses sports to promote tolerance and respect for diversity and to help underserved youth around the world develop important leadership skills and achieve academic success.

The International Sports Programming Initiative includes two-way, multi-phased exchange programs funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy Division. On these exchanges, youth and community sports leaders from the Near East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa regions participate in various activities that use sports and sports programming to promote tolerance and respect for diversity and to help participants develop important leadership skills and achieve academic success. The program aims to include marginalized groups as participants, including women, girls, non-English speakers, and individuals with disabilities. The program also directly supports a goal of youth empowerment and development by equipping exchange participants with the knowledge and skills to become active and responsible members of their communities and the global arena. The skills developed through the exchange programs contribute to safer, more inclusive environments in communities across the region, and increased opportunities for young people.

The program also funds trainers/experts and community sports leaders from the U.S. to travel to the region for each exchange program to work with youth athletes and organizations in local communities.

The International Sports Programming Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.

Countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Tunisia

Program Goals

  • Equip a new, more inclusive generation of youth, athletes, and sports professionals in the Near East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa regions with the skills to use sports as a way to enhance cooperation, tolerance and respect for people from different backgrounds.
  • Explore programs and best practices to be used by the adult or youth participants trying to combat violence, support tolerant behavior, and empower youth with leadership skills through sports activities.
  • Build regional networks of sports and youth development professionals.
  • Promote growth and stable democratic governments.
  • Remove barriers and create a world in which people with disabilities enjoy dignity and full inclusion.

Application Process

Participants come from a variety of sports backgrounds, based on local priorities and opportunities to create sustainability, in each specific country.

Participants are recruited by World Learning, with support from the U.S. Embassies abroad.

For more information on sports diplomacy programs, visit https://eca.state.gov/programs-initiatives/initiatives/sports-diplomacy.

The International Sports Programming Initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning.