HRH Prince Feisal Al-Hussein, Founder and Chairman of Generations For Peace, officially opened the inaugural European camp today in the Russian city of Sochi, host of the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Generations For Peace Sochi Camp 2010 is bringing together 57 leaders of youth from 11 European and Central Asian countries that have been involved in various forms of conflict. The delegates will undertake an intensive ten day peace through sport training programme involving academic conflict transformation techniques and practical sports coaching.
At the opening, Prince Feisal spoke passionately about the significance of holding a camp in the Winter Olympic capital:
‘I cannot stress enough what an honour it is to be welcomed to the city that has been chosen by the IOC to host the next Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This is the first time ever an organisation like Generations For Peace has collaborated so closely with an OCOG; the first time ever we have had this fantastic opportunity to celebrate with such unity our shared belief in the supreme importance of the Olympic values we all hold so dear; of respect and tolerance; fair play and teamwork; peace, understanding and reconciliation.
‘Our common goals unite us; our rich diversity makes us ever stronger. I feel immensely proud to be speaking to a room filled with such courage; such integrity; such passion for peace. The sum of our parts is impressive. Our whole has limitless potential.’
In close consultation with the UN and its agencies, local and international NGOs and National Olympic Committees, Generations For Peace has carefully selected accomplished leaders of youth from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. Seven of these nations will be sending delegates to a Generations For Peace camp for the very first time, taking the total number of participating countries and territories to 46.
Much like Generations for Peace, Sochi 2014 has taken positive steps towards creating a sustainable legacy for the younger generation. Most notably, its volunteer programme and the Russian International Olympic University have been established to instil the values of Olympism in the youth of Russia and create a social and economic impact that will continue long after the Games have left Sochi. President and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, underlined what hosting the camp means to Sochi.
‘This is an excellent opportunity to create a sustainable, tangible legacy for Sochi 2014 today. Working with Generations For Peace, we hope to help spread the values of Olympism not just in Russia, but throughout the world. Excellence, respect and friendship are universally important, but they are not universally celebrated. By sharing our expertise in long- and short-term community sport projects, and by learning from Generations For Peace’s wealth of experience in peace through sport initiatives, we hope to change that.’
Sochi Camp 2010 is the seventh Generations For Peace camp. By the time it finishes on 11 October, the organisation will have trained more than 500 delegates from 46 countries and territories in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Those delegates have, to date, successfully cascaded their learning to over 3,000 leaders of youth. Thanks to this unique process of organic growth and knowledge transfer, Generations For Peace has touched the lives of more than 51,000 young people whose communities have been blighted by violence and prejudice.
Sochi Camp 2010 marks the latest in a rapid series of impressive milestones in Generations For Peace’s meteoric development since its 2007 inception. The organisation’s debut camp on European soil follows its official recognition by the IOC in 2009, the involvement of its first ever European delegates at June’s Amman Camp 2010 and the recent confirmation that the Generations For Peace Institute has awarded its first scholarships this autumn. Sochi Camp 2010 represents another vital landmark in Generations For Peace’s mission to bring peace to troubled communities across the world.