Zambia: Workshop Report on Women’s Empowerment through Sport in collaboration with JOICFP
We participated in “Promotion of women’s health throughout the Life Cycle at One Stop Service Site in Zambia”, a project organized by JOICFP, with the role of a specialist on women’s empowerment through sport.
※Following is quoted from JOICFP website;
“JOICFP is a Japan-based international NGO active in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning, maternal health and HIV/AIDS, where it works to improve the health status of women, men and young people of the world. Established in 1968 under the auspices of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare, JOICFP grew out of a desire to share the lessons of family planning and maternal and child health that flourished in Japan after World WarⅡas a community-based movement oriented toward preventive health．Since then, JOICFP has seen its activities spread to over 36 countries in Asia and the Pacific, Africa Regions and Latin America where communities remain central to all efforts.”
Under JOICFP ‘s “Promotion of women’s health throughout the Life Cycle at One Stop Service Site in Zambia”, there are various, more specific programs. We, S.C.P. Japan, participated in one of those programs called “Peer Educators Training Program for Young Women”. A workshop was organized in order to improve the facilitation skills amongst young women peer educators from Masaiti and Lufwanyama Districts. Unfortunately, we could not travel to Zambia due to Covid-19 pandemic. However, we did develop the program contents, and the workshop was successfully held with a great help of JOICFP’s local partner organization, Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ).
During this workshop, we asked the participants, young women from the two districts, to discuss about gender inequalities in communities through sport. Through the topic, “why can’t women participate in sport in the same way that men do?”, they discussed gender related challenges in their communities. We also introduced a play-based training program. The program uniquely uses play- based activities to develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills, and knowledge of gender-based violence against young women and sexual reproductive health.
Advantages of such sports programs have been discussed with following points; higher engagement of participants, and learning outcomes can be expected through experienced-based activities. For example, programs based on “recreational activities”, rather than competitive games, can be an effective way to create an inclusive and safe environment, both psychologically and physically. Everyone can participate as equals, no matter their level of abilities. We create an environment where no one is left behind.
NOWSPAR (National Organization for Women in Sport, Physical Activities and Recreation) is another organization in Zambia that focuses on such physical workshops and we were lucky to be able to collaborate with NOWSPAR. NOWSPAR staff members kindly share their play-based facilitation skills with the participants.
Although we could not be present at the workshop, PPAZ arranged the program to better suit the local participants and it was successfully delivered. Such collaborations are priceless, and we are incredibly grateful for their invaluable contribution
Additionally, we provided a yoga program and a video message from Japan as a part of the workshop.
Last, but not least, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to JOICFP. We believe the collaboration with an organization that has developed strong ties with local communities is an effective way to tackle social issues through sport. That is why we are very grateful for the opportunity to be part of JOICFP’s project once again this year. We appreciate JOICFP and their members of staff, who communicate and organize everything amongst all organizations in different countries, ensuring the workshop was carried out successfully. Without their assistance, we could not have done this. Thank you very much!