The 2016 Friendship Games in Rwanda
The 7th edition of the Friendship Games in the Great Lakes region of Africa will take place on 14, 15, and 16 October 2016 in Bugarama, Rwanda. These three days of trans-border sports events designed to promote peace will bring together over 180 9-15 year-olds from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.
With 6 previous editions to their name, the Friendship Games of the Great Lakes have made their mark as a major event for sports diplomacy. Acknowledged and supported by political and sporting authorities in the region, this project initiated by Peace and Sport is attracting growing interest from local communities.
Youth centres from the frontier areas of Burundi, DRC and Rwanda all meet to enjoy sports events mixed with cultural activities and awareness-raising sessions about peace promotion. The Games are a unique opportunity to forge links of fraternity and friendship, to support social cohesion and help peace consolidation in the Great Lakes region.
Bugarama, in the south-west of Rwanda, on the border with the DRC and Burundi, will host the Friendship Games for the second time following the 2015 edition.
Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, said: “For six years now, the Friendship Games in the Great Lakes of Africa have become an important occasion for all these young people. The number of sports played is growing and more and more youngsters are involved, learning to get to know each other, discuss and overcome their prejudices through the values of tolerance and respect transmitted by sport.”