4-H Zimbabwe Foundation – A youth led organisation working with sport to promote peace and transform lives of young people in Zimbabwe, has won the 2022 prestigious NGO of the Year Award sponsored by the Peace and Sport Forum. The award was presented to 4-H Zimbabwe National Director, John Muchenje by Prince Albert II of Monaco at an event held in the Principality of Monaco on 30 November. The event brings together various high level people from around the world to honour key champions for peace through sport.
Other international persons honoured at this year’s award ceremony include Dr. George Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia who was awarded the Peace and Sport Special Prize for his commitment to democracy and reconciliation in his country and the international tennis player Ons Jabeur – a source of inspiration for women and youth around the world who was awarded the Peace Champion of the Year Prize.
4-H Zimbabwe has continued to make inroads in bringing young people from various political parties in Zimbabwe to play sport together, including the police as arbitrators, all in an effort to use sport and its power to unite people – making it a powerful voice to communicate the message of peace.
In accepting the award, Muchenje thanked all the stakeholders in Zimbabwe including all the political parties and other relevant institutions for making it possible to host various peace for sport initiatives in the country. He further noted that “In competitive sport, we have a winner who lift the trophy but when we talk of Peace and Sport, participation is key and everyone is a winner. The main thrust is to unite diverse communities, creating mutual respect, trust, tolerance, discipline and common understanding.”
Joël Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport, declared, “The NGO of the Year Award recognizes the 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation for its Sport for Peace and Tolerance project, which aims to unite traditionally opposed community groups through the organisation of sports tournaments. By developing youth-focused programmes, 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation trains young leaders who are taking strong action to build a more inclusive and peaceful Zimbabwe. Congratulations to the 4-H Zimbabwe Foundation for this well-deserved Award.”
In addition to winning the award in Monaco, 4-H Zimbabwe has also been selected to receive an award by the African Union-PAPS Awards Initiative for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working on youth, peace and security in Africa. The Awards Initiative Ceremony will take place at African Union Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 16 December 2022.
4-H Zimbabwe’s mission is to empower and capacitate youth to be responsible, caring and contributing leaders that effect positive change in the world around them. The project which is supported financial by the Government of Switzerland aims to foster engagement and unite traditionally divergent community groups by organizing sport tournaments involving different communities, political parties, students’ unions, and security forces. Members of the Police are invited to participate in the tournaments as players or referees, to smoothen the relations and improve the perception within communities.