Women’s Empowerment- Basketball Tour Promotes Social Cohesion

IOM in cooperation with the American University of Iraq, Sulaymaniyah (AUIS) is organizing a tour of the AUIS women’s basketball team to promote gender awareness, social cohesion, volunteerism, and youth empowerment through education and sport. The audiences are youths, especially girls, at schools and camps for refugees and displaced Iraqis in northern Iraq.

During the presentations, AUIS basketball team members and IOM national staff share messages on social cohesion and athletes’ personal experiences of growth through sport. The tour began on May 4 in a classroom in a Syrian refugee camp in Erbil and on May 5 at a high school in Dohuk. The locations were chosen to bring these communities together with the host community.

The AUIS team played a basketball game with the students and taught correct basketball techniques for passing, shooting and dribbling. The young students were enthusiastic to learn basketball skills and listened intently to hear from the team about their experience in sport.

The students also shared their hobbies, including drawing, and their aspirations for the future. “I want to be an ambassador, so I can contribute to peace and build friendly relations with other nations,” said a Syrian refugee girl with a determined smile.

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