Picture gallery: Sport prepares for life

Sport inspires and connects people all over the world – regardless of language, gender or religion. That is why German development cooperation uses sport to promote disadvantaged children and young people in developing countries and to achieve to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as education, health, peaceful societies and gender equality.

This approach is not about supporting professional sports. It is about teaching children and young people social skills through sport activities and playfully provide them with knowledge about topics such as violence prevention, health and gender equality.

The following photographs show, how sport in Colombia contribute to the peaceful coexistence of former combatants and victims of the armed conflict, how young people in the Palestinian Territories are qualified and interested for vocational training through sport, or how basketball and football trainings are used for HIV prevention in Namibia.

  • Mozambique: Designing the future (c) Oliver Becker

    Designing the future

    Children and adolescents form part of the majority of the population in many developing countries – and are therefore crucial for the future of their country. Sports teaches social competences and values, conveys life skills and can help young people to develop perspectives for their own lives.

    Mozambique – 2014 (c) Oliver Becker

  • Mozambique: Sport builds trust (c) Oliver Becker

    Sport builds trust

    Within the framework of “Sport for Development” programs, sensitive issues such as contraception and alcohol abuse or fears and expectations can be discussed through sports pedagogical games. Sports that are widely used and do not require expensive equipment such as football, basketball or athletics are well suited for this cause.

    Maputo, Mozambique – June 2014 (c) GIZ/Oliver Becker

  • Palestinian Territories: Sport is attractive (c) GIZ/Amani Awartani

    Sport is attractive

    The combination with sport makes the offers of vocational schools in the West Bank more attractive: movement games in groups, such as here in Ramallah, provide young people with information on vocational training and skills that help them in professional life and contribute to a more peaceful coexistence.

    Bethlehem, Palestinian Territories – March 2015 (c) GIZ/Amani Awartani

  • Colombia: Solving conflicts peacefully (c) GIZ/Thomas Wagner

    Colombia: Solving conflicts peacefully

    In Colombia, the method “Deporte con Principios” (Sports with principles) supports peaceful coexistence and re-integration of internally displaced people. What is more, former combatants are being educated to become trainers who can take over social responsibilities in the host communities.

    Cúcuta, Colombia – November 2017 (c) GIZ/Thomas Wagner

  • Colombia: Marcos Silva, “Deporte con Principios” trainer in Cúcuta (c) GIZ/Thomas Wagner

    “Deporte con Principios” has changed my life. The program gave me the opportunity to get out of my difficult situation and to go new ways. I am proud that I can now make a small contribution to advancing the peace process in Colombia. I can bring together former combatants and victims of the conflict, mediate and work with them through the training on a reconciliation. (Marcos Silva, “Deporte con Principios” trainer in Cúcuta, Colombia)

    Cúcuta, Colombia – November 2017 (c) GIZ/Thomas Wagner

  • Namibia: Sport prepares for life (c) GIZ/Stefan Oosthuisen

    Sport prepares for life

    In the “Girls Centre” of the Namibian Football Association (NFA) in Windhoek, marginalized girls and young women not only find safe spaces to do sports but can also make use of their educational offers. Supported by the German development cooperation, TUI Care Foundation and Futouris e. V. young women can do internships or even an apprenticeship in sustainable tourism.

    Windhoek, Namibia – May 2016 (c) GIZ/Stefan Oosthuisen

  • Namibia: Gwen Joyce Narises from Windhoek (c) GIZ/Luise Haunit

    Sport prepares for life

    “It's great to make my own money and be completely independent. In football, I learned how important teamwork and cohesion are. Through the vocational training, I also learned patience and serenity and to stick to what I really want. I really learned that for life.” (Gwen Joyce Narises from Windhoek, Namibia)

    Namibia – 2018 (c) GIZ/Luise Haunit

  • Namibia: Together against HIV (c) GIZ/Anja Arnemann

    Together against HIV

    Sport does not only ensure physical fitness and but it also encourages a positive physical feeling. During basketball or football trainings, well-educated trainers can also talk about HIV/AIDS prevention and contraception.

    Windhoek, Namibia – October 2014 (c) GIZ/Anja Arnemann

  • Afghanistan: Physical education as an engine for development (c) GIZ/Oliver Becker

    Physical education as an engine for development

    Physical education for female students – what might sound trivial was unimaginable in Afghanistan for a long time. Under Taliban rule, physical education, if at all, was only theoretical. For this reason, a curriculum for sports education classes in Afghan schools was developed through the “Sport for Development” program. In addition, master trainers were instructed, who now train sports teachers in sports pedagogical approaches.   

    Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan – June 2014 (c) GIZ/Oliver Becker

  • Jordan: Sports grounds create safe spaces (c) GIZ/Alea Horst

    Sports grounds create safe spaces

    In Jordan refugee camps and host communities, the “Sport for Development”-measures provide a safe environment for sports activities. Refugees and locals between the ages of 8 and 24 can reduce their fear of contact and learn how to resolve conflicts peacefully. In addition to promoting their sporting abilities, this nurtures respect, tolerance, discipline, empathy, fair play and self-confidence.

    Jordan – 2017 (c) GIZ/Alea Horst

  • Uganda: Sport connects (c) GIZ/ DOSB

    Sport connects

    In Uganda, the “Athletics for Development programme” uses the basic athletic forms of running, throwing and jumping to get children moving. The aim of the project is, among other things, to promote social and societal cohesion in local communities. Olympic fencing champion Britta Heidemann supports the project as an ambassador for “Sport for Development”.

    Apac, Uganda – May 2018 (c) GIZ/ DOSB

  • Brasil: Learning playfully (c) GIZ/Florian Kopp

    Learning playfully

    Dribbling fast, stopping the ball, turning the card – with a memory game, which is easy to make, children and adolescents are being sensitized for topics like equality of the sexes or preventing violence – for example in a Sports Camp during the World Cup 2014 in Brasil.

    Fortaleza, Brasil – June 2014 (c) GIZ/Florian Kopp

  • Brasil: Team sport empowers (c) GIZ/Ramon Goncalves

    Team sport empowers

    In sport activities such as workshops, which were held during the men’s football World Cup 2014 in Brazil, children and adolescents learned about hygiene, health, environment protection or are being motivated for civil participation and social engagement. At the same time values and social competencies like respect, tolerance and teamwork were transmitted. 

    Salvador da Bahía, Brasil – June 2014 (c) GIZ/Ramon Goncalves

  • Germany: A role model on the field and for life (c) GIZ/Josefine Fehr

    A role model on the field and for life

    Organizer, role model and person of trust: The “Sport for Development” trainers are the basis of the programs. The International Instructors Course, which is organized jointly by German Development Cooperation and the German Football Association (DFB), allows them to exchange ideas and learn new methods, which they pass on as multipliers in their home countries.

    Hennef, Germany – June 2017 (c) GIZ/Josefine Fehr

  • Germany: Support through “Sport for Development”-ambassadors (c) GIZ/Oliver Becker

    Support through “Sport for Development”-ambassadors

    For the implementation of “Sport for Development”-measures, BMZ and GIZ have strong partners: In addition to the German Football Association (DFB) and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) also the former football players Nia Künzer and Gerald Asmoah and Fencing Olympic champion Britta Heidemann support the projects.

    Kamen, Germany – September 2018 (c) GIZ/Oliver Becker

The projects are implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

GIZ: Sport for Development

September 2018


Beatrice Okello
19 September 2018

This is really interesting to read. Here in Uganda, we established a local NGO/CBO called Acholi Sports and Culture Organization (ASCO) in 2004 which has similar objectives as this programme of GIZ. Unfortunately for us, the Acholi sub-region in Northern Uganda was just coming out of a 20 year civil unrest from the LRA war, and so development partners were unwilling to support activities to promote peaceful co-existence through sports or even consider engaging the returnees in cultural events to teach and remind them of cultural values of doing things - e.g. crop production, harvesting, preservation, storage, food preparation, etc. Emphasis was on rehabilitation of schools, health facilities, water infrastructure, roads and peace building and conflict training. And, there was preference to fund NGO/CBOs that had already been operating - and yet ASCO was only newly formed, but with brilliant ideas. The sponsored areas have not really 'gel-ed' the community - otherwise we would not be having people from same families killing themselves over property they have not even worked for! We believed then, and still believe that now, that having a pleasurable/happy activity that enjoins people would make them think more humanely than most of them grew up seeing - violently.
So to date the idea is still in my mind, and hopefully some day when I make enough money, I will be able to construct the Acholi Cultural Centre where I can give back to my people in form of traditional knowledge and practice. In this day we are seeing more and more people manifesting malnutrition - especially overweight and obesity among adults, and stunting among children. And yet traditional Acholi food is well balanced and rich in nutrients to produce healthy and productive people. The reason why Acholi were in the past seen as tough people and recruited in the uniformed forces to protect the nation. Acholi was a food basket - storing food for lean times and even selling without experiencing famine. But do they children, now adults, who grew up in IDP camps know this? Do they value this? Can we inculcate this in them? Yes!

Thank you for sharing this topic. It just strengthens my resolve to work hard to support my people.

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