27/11-2018GAME’s Playmaker Program expands to Ghana

In December 2018 GAME is officially launching a new project in Accra, Ghana with a focus on youth-led street sports and education. This will be the 10th country implementing GAME’s methods.

GAME has teamed up with a like-minded partner, DUNK Grassroots, to jointly implement GAME’s methods to the youth of Ghana who will get empowered to increase their civil society participation through the training to be a volunteer street sports coach for local children.

“GAME continues to develop internationally which means two exciting things to us. We are able to have stronger and more aligned local partners like DUNK, and we are increasingly able to use street sports as a conduit to more diverse programming such as water, sanitation and hygiene in addition to empowerment, gender, health and education. DUNK is a very strong partner and we look forward to get a lot of kids and youth engaged in positive communities around street sports,” says Matthew Gray, GAME’s International Partnership Manager.

Street sport as a vehicle for social change
GAME and DUNK’s partnership will empower 50 youth to become agents of change in their communities. These so-called Playmakers are volunteers that will be trained in life skills and made capable of running street sports practices for children and adolescents in their neighborhoods while also bringing WASH facilities and best practices to hundreds of children and the 50 Playmakers.

“As mentioned by one of Africa’s great leaders (Mandela) – Sports has the power to change the world. GAME’s concept has proven to be exceptional in the approach to youth and sports it is about time that schools, parents etc. in our local communities positively encourage the youth and especially girls to participate in sports so they may become better citizens and agents of change. We are proud to be able to make this happen through GAME,” says Mohammed Tahir, Co-founder of DUNK.

The activities will take place in Jamestown and Nima neighbourhoods, two of the capital Accra’s most underserved neighborhoods, where the needs for safe spaces to play and improved WASH support are critical. The partnership also includes refurbishing and renovating two street sport facilities to secure a safe and healthy environment for the Playmakers and the children.

”With half the world’s population being under 25 years old and more than half living in urban areas, there is a huge need for initiatives that can create opportunities and civic involvement amongst the next generation of leaders. Our role in GAME is to support the youth in creating the cities they dream of and deserve,” says Simon Prahm, Co-founder and CEO of GAME.

Education and sports – hand-in-hand
Both GAME and DUNK has worked with their methods for years and are now bringing their knowledge together.

GAME has worked with the Playmaker Program as a method for social change in vulnerable residential areas since 2002 and the non-formal education sector is a proven concept, which DUNK has worked with for many years, combining basket drills and afterschool classes where teaching is aligned with national school curriculum improving student’s academic capabilities immensely.

“We have been pursuing for a collaboration with GAME for more than a year now. We strongly believe in our common vision and aligned interest to empower at-risk youth from inner cities through sports and education. This partnership with GAME is indeed overwhelming and uplifting for DUNK on many levels,” Mohammed Tahir adds.

GAME in 10 countries by 2020
Incorporating education and WASH components in the GAME model is a testament to GAME’s programmatic growth and expanding to West Africa is a clear example of GAME’s increased internationalization.

As GAME-activities in Europe and Tunisia are confirmed to start up throughout 2019 and 2020, Ghana is the 10th country to benefit from the innovative methods developed and tested over the years.

The partnership in Ghana is supported by CISU (Civil Society in Development) under the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.