Dubai: The International Cricket Council on Monday celebrated International Day of Sport for Development and Peace with a spotlight on the child and youth-focused Cricket for Good with ChildFund pilot project that was undertaken in Papua New Guinea and delivered in partnership with the ICC.
The ICC has been running Sport for Development programmes for 10 years now in partnership with government and non-government organisations around the world. The pilot programme in PNG was their first partnership with ChildFund, as per the ICC release.
The Cricket for Good with ChildFund pilot project which took place between August and December 2019 was a child and youth-focused intervention that aimed to positively unite, inspire and empower the communities to improve education and attitudes towards gender equality.
In total 219 participants, of which 43% were females from three schools and two villages in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea undertook the pilot. Twenty-one Facilitators (13 females) met the assessment criteria and became Cricket for Good with ChildFund Facilitators.
The programme included creating an integrated cricket and life skills curriculum with an intensive, in-country training program for facilitators in programme delivery. The participants were surveyed on three key components: life skills content (knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours related to understanding gender and violence), leadership competencies, and cricket skills. Baseline and end line activities were conducted by the Facilitator team, which used a combination of multiple-choice surveys and skills-based activities.
One of the 219 participants, John shares his story.
In 2006, when John was eight years old, he lost sight in his left eye after an accident occurred while playing with some friends. He was required to wear special glasses. John said that he felt very ashamed, and was worried that his friends and other people in his community would tease him and bully him. The incident made John feel very self-conscious and shy, and he didn't often go out or interact with other people. After a friend told John about the project, he decided to join.
"The project has inspired and motivated me through many things. I was shy before, but now I realise that my disability should not stop me from enjoying my life," said John.
According to one of John's Facilitators who has known him since he was young, "He has become more open and sociable, he talks to people and participates in the project so well he isn't worried about his eye and what other people think anymore. Even at the competition he played and joined in with others, and people in his community really support him."
Through the project, John was able to overcome his own barriers regarding his disability, grow in confidence, and learn more about life skills and cricket.
ICC General Manager Development, William Glenwright said: "The youth-focused Cricket for Good with ChildFund pilot progamme is an example of the positive impact that the reach of cricket can have in communities. In Papua New Guinea, the ICC's global community outreach programme focused on child and youth-focused intervention that aimed to positively unite, inspire and empower communities to improve education and attitudes towards gender equality.
"John's story is just one of many examples of how a project like this can have a lasting legacy and cricket can help enrich people's lives. In addition, being active is an important factor in the well-being of youth around the world, and the ICC is committed to providing opportunities in partnership with Members for cricket to be accessible to as many children as possible."