Young Football Volunteers project recognized as the best healthy life-style promoter in Crimea

01 Feb 2014

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The “Young Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for MDGs” project was recognized at the Ball of Champions - one of the most important sport events in Crimea – as “the best  non-government organization that  promotes healthy lifestyle in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in 2013”. The Ball of Champions, which brought together the best Crimean athletes and coaches, was organized by the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Crimea with support from the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine in Crimea.

“This award is a great honor for us, since it symbolizes the contribution of volunteers to healthy lifestyle promotion and civic engagement of rural youth, and strengthens sustainable development of Ukraine,” explains Davron Mirsagatov, Coordinator of the “Young Football Volunteers” project and a UN Volunteer. “It would hardly be possible to achieve such results without the support of the Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports, so it is our joint achievement,” he emphasized.

During the Ball of Champions the Crimean coaches and athletes, members of national sport teams of Ukraine, winners and participants in the Olympics and Paralympics, as well as World and European Championships, received awards in different categories. The event was opened by Natalia Goncharova, the Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Viktor Plakida, the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea, members of Crimean Parliament, the president of the National Olympic Committee, and a number of heads of sports federations.

Since 2012, the “Young Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for Millennium Development Goals” project has been  promoting healthy life-style by  discovering hundreds of enthusiastic and proactive rural boys and girls who are able to implement their own MDG-focused projects.

Aimed at addressing young people’s vulnerability to the accelerating HIV epidemic and to social exclusion in Ukraine, the “Young Football Volunteers” project has brought together resources from the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP), United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine (UNDP), and United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) to support youth development. Implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, the Football Federation of Ukraine, and The German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and in the framework of the social programme “Youth of Ukraine” and the state project “Let’s Do it Together”, the project actively contributes towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, with a particular effort in achieving Goal 6 (combat HIV, malaria and other diseases).

The project utilizes the unique synergy of strategies for youth development first applied in the oblasts of Kherson and Mykolaiv, and AR Crimea. It uses sport as an enabler to promote social cohesion, strengthen civil society and improve young people’s physical and social health in the project’s pilot districts. It aims to engage young people aged 12 to 20 (with a minimum of 40% girls) living in the rural areas of the oblasts of Kherson, Mykolayiv and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in active and effective participation in decisions regarding their health and the life of their community.