Ahead of the official launching program in November, the head of Football for Peace (FfP) in Africa, Lebongang Chaka, says it is because of the historical feat of Liberia that the global diplomatic sports movement chose to make Monrovia the first “City of Peace” in Africa.
Madam Chaka said Liberia as the oldest African nation that helped several African countries gained their independence, became the best option for its capital to become the first ‘City of Peace’ on the continent.
She made the statement over the weekend at a joint press conference hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the leadership of the FfP at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
“Liberia became the best place for us to launch the FfP on the African continent giving the great history that it has, so we see Liberia as the rite of passage for Football for Peace to the African continent. If it is coming to the Africa soil, it first has to pass through Liberia,” madam Chaka said.
She, therefore, urged Liberians to embrace the program, and use it as a tool to unite young Liberians and spread it to other parts of the African continent.
“City for Peace” is an educational program that uses football to connect young people from different faiths, cultures, and backgrounds and get them to communicate, play together, learn to confront stereotypes, and better understand one another.
The educational program will create 60 young peace leaders who will be educated on conflict resolutions, leadership, and equality and later obtained a diploma. The young peace leaders will later be able to organize peace tournaments in their communities.
“When the city hits 3,000 children who have been through the program, it city than becomes an official “City for Peace” and then it joins the footballing “City for Peace” around the world which we have seven international “City for Peace,” Kashif Siddiqi, Co-founder, FfP said.
According to Siddiqi, a pilot project will be initiated in the coming months in order for young people in Liberia to know what the program is about. He thanked President George Weah for endorsing the program, the British Embassy in Monrovia and Ministry of Youth and Sports for the support.
Zoegar Wilson, Minister of Youth and Sports Minister has welcomed the diplomatic sports movement on behalf of the government of Liberia and said he is delighted that the program will help build the capacity of thousands of Liberian youths in peace and conflict resolutions.