Great Lakes Friendship Games bring unity

5 | 2 | 2014

The Great Lakes Friendship Games, a cross-border sporting event, aimed at promoting peace, cultural awareness and cross-border friendships, brought together more than 300 young people from Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the 21st and 22nd September 2013 in Luvungi, Democratic Republic of Congo.

In what was the 4th edition of the Games, young people aged from 9-15 took part in the sporting activities promoting peace and cultural awareness among the three participating nations. In many ways, The Great Lakes Friendship Games replicate Olympic ideals with participants showcasing their sporting abilities while forging new friendships and embracing values of fair play and respect.

A number of organisations joined in to help ensure the success of the Games, including the National Olympic Committees of competing nations, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

WOA President, Joël Bouzou, who is also the President and Founder of organising body, Peace and Sport, said: “Over the last four years, the African Great Lakes Friendship Games have become a crucial event for all of these young people. A wider range of sporting activities is being run each year and an increasing number of young people are taking part. The culture of tolerance and respect engendered by sport means that the Games provide them with an opportunity to make friends, talk and overcome their prejudices. I would like to thank all of our partners in this initiative, who work daily to bring stability to this particularly fragile region of Africa, and without whom the Games would not be possible.