COUNTRIES: Algeria, Bahrain, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia
DURATION: 09/12/2016 - 09/30/2021
FUNDER: U.S. Department of State
CONTACTdana.hoyes@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 includes two-way, multi-phased exchanges programs funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy Division. On these exchanges athletes and sports professionals from the Near East and North Africa region participate in various activities that use sports and sports programming to promote tolerance and respect for diversity and to help underserved youth around the world develop important leadership skills and achieve academic success. This program equips participants with the skills to enhance cooperation, tolerance, and respect for people from different backgrounds, including marginalized populations such as individuals with disabilities and women and girls. All these skills can contribute to safer, more inclusive environments in communities across the region, and increased opportunities for young people.

The program also funds trainers/experts from the U.S. to travel to the region for each exchange program to work with 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.

Program Goals

  • Equip a new, more inclusive generation of athletes and sports professionals in the Near East and North Africa region 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 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.