July 14, 2011
The Beyond Sports international organization announced earlier this week that Policy Center for Roma and Minorities was shortlisted for the Beyond Sport Awards 2011, at the “Best New Project” category, for its efforts to use sport as a social inclusion tool and for combating racism and discrimination.
Across the list, 35 projects have been nominated covering 18 countries, from Afghanistan and Nepal to Sierra Leone and the West Bank, and using 22 different sports. These projects were chosen from close to 400 entries from more than 125 countries that submitted applications to this year’s Awards. Policy Center for Roma and Minorities is the only non-profit in Europe (except for the UK and the Netherlands) that was nominated for the prestigious awards.
“Either if we are talking about football, basketball, volleyball or boxing, we are convinced that sports can play a major role in the development of an individual or of a society in general. We discovered that involving the children at the Alternative Education Club in Ferentari, one of the most socially and economically vulnerable areas of Bucharest, in sports, has really good results: it increases their self-esteem, it develops their discipline and overall boosts their confidence in what they do. This way they learn better and tend to drop school less often. This is a huge leap for them and for us, considering they come from an environment where drug abuse, prostitution and domestic violence are very common. We also think that society should encourage sport initiatives as a way of tackling racism and discrimination and fostering a mutual understanding environment”, explains Valeriu Nicolae, the president of Policy Center for Roma and Minorities.
The Alternative Education Club is a new, safe, open, creative and challenging space for the children living in the Ferentari ghetto area in Bucharest, established by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities in October 2010. Currently, the club is set up at the Elementary School no. 136, but for the future, we plan to extend the project to other schools in the neighbourhood. The project represents a first for Romania, while in Europe there are only a few similar initiatives. The Alternative Education Club is financially supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bucharest, the Soros Foundation in Romania, the European Commission and the Roma Education Fund.
The organizer of the award, Beyond Sport, is a global organisation that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to drive positive social change across the world.
By reaching this stage of the judging process, each project will receive an invitation to attend the third annual Beyond Sport Summit, taking place from December 5-8 in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Awards winners, to be selected by the panel of Beyond Sport Ambassadors, will be announced on the final two days of the Summit. The successful projects in the six Beyond Sport Community Awards categories will receive a substantial package of business support to help them grow and become sustainable in the future.
Beyond Sport is partnered with Barclays Spaces for Sports, TIME International, and UNICEF.
For more information about the Beyond Sport Awards 2011 please visit www.beyondsport.org