Savannah Pride Basketball Club is an exciting initiative led by South Sudanese peace champion Mayor Chagai. Started in 2006, the basketball club was established by a small group of coaches and students from the South Sudanese diaspora in Sydney to assist youth through their settlement journey and provide a positive outlet through a shared love of basketball.
Savannah Pride has since grown to be an all-inclusive organisation attracting youth from all walks of life regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. It provides a positive outlet for young people to channel their energy and grow through well-rounded basketball programs, educational programs, homework support, mentoring and cultural guidance.
IEP was delighted to host a Positive Peace workshop in early December for the Savannah Pride Basketball Club, in alliance with the Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW and made possible with generous funding provided by Multicultural NSW. This workshop aimed to strengthen the South Sudanese community in New South Wales.
IEP’s Partnerships Team worked with the Savannah Pride community, including team members and their parents, to create projects based on the 8 pillars of Positive Peace.
Positive Peace is much more than the absence of violence. Positive Peace describes the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin and sustain peaceful societies. From a systems-thinking perspective, IEP proposes that positive peacebuilding must integrate a comprehensive understanding of the connections that exist between the different elements that make it difficult to achieve stable peace.
One of the central activities on the day was the ‘Island of the Pillars’, in which the young basketball players and their parents carried out a simulation exercise focussed on the peaceful transformation of a conflict through the implementation of the pillars of Positive Peace.
The young people demonstrated their ability to communicate assertively and work as a team. Additionally, the ‘Island of the Pillars’ fostered intergenerational dialogue as parents shared their experiences of participating in conflict transformation within South Sudan.
During the Savannah Pride workshop, the group analysed the indicators of the Positive Peace Index with particular reference to South Sudan’s indicators. The workshop included the participation of young leaders who are part of the Australian-African community and linked to organisations including Mt Druitt Ethnic Communities and Youth 4 Global Peace Forum.
Participants engaged in practical exercises on Positive Peace and systems thinking, social systems for peacebuilding and the 8 pillars of Positive Peace, in order to propose Positive Peace projects.
The Positive Peace projects were facilitated by the IEP team, and connected IEP’s frameworks with the daily experiences and knowledge of the participants in the workshop. The four projects presented by Savannah Pride focussed on:
The organic farming and community garden was voted for as the chosen project to implement. At the end of the workshop, the youngest members of Savannah Pride highlighted their desire to become IEP ambassadors and contribute to the creation of positive peace initiatives in their community in Blacktown, as well as war-torn communities in South Sudan.
Savannah Pride is an inspiring example of promoting peace through sport and community.
IEP offers a number of ways for individuals and organisations to engage with IEP: from our ambassador programme and online academies, to workshops and broad, multi-year embedded partnerships. Learn more about our Peace Program.
If you are interested in receiving a Positive Peace workshop, please email IEP Partnerships team at [email protected]
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