Karachi: The British Council on Monday concluded a major showcasing event, of its project DOSTI (Developing and Organising Social Transformation Initiatives), which employs the medium of sports to encourage peace building, tolerance and learning among young people from different parts of society.
DOSTI is being implemented in eight geographical locations (each called a Centre) in Karachi geared toward 12-18 year old school going and community youth. The British Council works closely with its implementing partners, schools and where necessary, community organisations to ensure successful implementation of DOSTI in their respective communities. The programme uses national and local resources as well as UK expertise to build capacity of partners and participants. It also develops an understanding of global issues which affect young people and their communities.
In this regard, the British Council organised a mega showcasing event to provide a platform for partners to participate, engage and celebrate their success in making a difference in Karachi through sports. Karachi United Football Foundation, Zindagi Trust – SMB FJ Govt. Girls School, Peace Education Welfare Organisation, Azad Foundation, Committee for Monitoring and Improvement of Schools participated in the event.
The event included a friendly Football Match between DOSTI Girls Team A and Girls Team B, which consisted of underprivileged girls from areas such as Lyari, Manghopir, Garden East and Saddar Town. A quiz competition on DOSTI Life Skills Module was also held for the participants. Social Action projects which were conducted in different communities were presented in the form of a tableau. Many participants wrote peace messages on the Peace Tree which was set up at the event.
Owais Ali who was part of the Street Child Football Team Pakistan that went to Brazil narrated his experience of how the DOSTI project has helped him and his team members.
The event was attended by Andy Hansen, Head of Society British Council as well as Commissioner Karachi Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqi.
On this occasion, Andy Hansen said, “I am very inspired by the work being done in Karachi with respect to sports for peace. I am really happy to see many girls participating in the sports activities. It is very heartening to see sports being given value by the participants, as it plays a major part in developing their confidence”.
A strong supporter and member of the DOSTI Advisory Group, Commissioner Karachi Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqi said, “I have been supporting this project since I was Secretary Sports and it is great to see British Council taking this initiative to bring communities together through sports”.
The DOSTI project aims to cut across social barriers and divisions prevalent in society and find a common ground among different groups through sports. It is hoped the project will foster intergroup understanding, tolerance and eventually appreciation of diversity in the city of Karachi.
The project promotes sports as a powerful tool for conflict prevention, and incorporates all forms of physical activity that contribute to physical fitness, mental health and social interaction. Through sports it fosters individual development teaching young people about discipline, respect and team work.