Laureus pursues its own ‘Global Goal’ - working to ensure tomorrow is better than today
November 23, 2015
At the turn of 2000, the United Nations announced their ‘Millennium Development Goals’. This was an ambitious attempt to bring common focus to the world’s leaders.
Fast forward 15 years, and MDG has evolved into ‘Global Goals for Sustainable Development’.
It’s a suitably long name for a programme with even bigger ambitions: namely to find a way to transcend political election cycles and unite the public, private and non-profit sectors in protecting the future of our planet.
At first sight, the connection between Sport for Development and Global Goals seems tenuous, but in fact it could not be stronger.
Global Goals outlines targets such as the reduction of poverty, the equality of gender and ethnic groups; indeed the harmony of mankind itself, as well as the harmonious relationship between mankind and nature. All of this can be supported through sport
Nelson Mandela, who became the Patron of Laureus, once famously said: “Sport has the power to change the world.” In that same speech, at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he added: “It is more powerful than governments in breaking down barriers.”
The Sport for Development sector, of which the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is an important part, supports a platform of sports-based programmes which address many of the Global Goals.
As President Mandela knew, sport galvanizes entire nations and transcends political differences. Sport is a versatile tool, while simultaneously being a common language.
This powerful thought is the driving force behind the work of the Laureus Foundation, which itself supports projects which are making progress towards achieving the Global Goals.
Goal 6 is one that focuses on Clean Water and Sanitation and here WASH United is a force for social good using the support of professional athletes to ensure no one goes without clean water.
The team at Tackle Africa takes on Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being by fighting AIDS across Africa, while the Indigo Youth Movement addresses the same goal through the prevention of substance abuse in South Africa at a local level.
Hop across the globe and Skateistan focuses on Goal 4: Quality Education in Afghanistan, South Africa and Cambodia, while Peace Players International is making incredible roads towards Goal 16: Peace, in areas rife with grandfathered-in conflict like Israel/Palestine or Northern Ireland.
Social enterprise Alive and Kicking is building sustainable communities in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia through a programme that employs locals and drives the local economy and Fight for Peace uses boxing through capoeira to give kids a second chance at their Health and Education (Goals 3 and 4), while Street League is championing Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth in the United Kingdom.
Indiability in India and the National Paralympic Committee of Rwanda are both addressing Goal 10: Reducing Inequalities by giving a level playing field to those facing a disability, though this barely scratches the surface. Whether it’s the Peruvian La Lima Kids giving orphaned youth a future, or New York’s Fight Back reaching at-risk youth in the hardest hit communities, this work is taking place globally. Some of it is on an international stage, while a lot more of it is very grassroots.
Sport has the unparalleled and unbridled ability to make this planet – our planet – a place that is safe for every human being. Sport has the global responsibility to support the Global Goals. We face an uphill battle against disease, social injustice, and poverty. This is no secret, and it should be no surprise.
However, as one of the few things with the ability to reach so far in breadth and scope, it is incumbent on us to do what we can with sport and through sport to make sure that tomorrow is a better day than today. That is certainly our ‘Global Goal’ at the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Article by Richard Loat, Fundraising & Events Manager, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation