June 21, 2024

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Sports for sustainability: Green Amayaga project inspires environmental stewardship through football competition

By Justin Kayiranga

As the world continues to seek sustainable solutions for the effects of climate change, the Green Amayaga project has organized football tournaments with the goal of raising a generation of environmental stewards and fostering community partnerships in order to restore this previously drought-stricken region.

Started on July 7th 2023, the competition draws teams from the districts of Kamonyi, Ruhango, Nyanza and Gisagara where Green Amayaga Project is being implemented and is expected to end on August 4th 2023.

The tournament also gathers people of all ages under a common goal to raise awareness about the pressing issue of climate change, where during the match’s halftime break, leaders take advantage to conduct interactive sessions, and disseminate climate messages that highlight the urgency of addressing climate change.

Green Amayaga Project coordinator, Songa Remy, says that the competition is playing a crucial role to campaign activities among the community, who are the primary beneficiaries of the project, as at every match, they get cautioned on good practices to the adaptation and mitigation of climate change issues by maintaining project’s achievements.

“We have come to a time when the activities we have done must be carefully considered and left in order to achieve the goals of the project.”

“So, these games are helping us a lot because they are helping us to unite the people and convey to them the message about the conservation of the environment, as well as show them their role in this journey to restoring Amayaga region.” Songa Remy.

With live commentary done at every match, where commentators host different people to explain what this project has conveyed to them.

In their testimonies, they appear to have good understanding towards the project’s goals and targets as they keep highlighting different project’s interventions, their implementation and how impactful they have been to them.

This is thanks to campaign activities as well as capacity building programs, in the Green Amayaga project that are being carried out under the project’s partnership with Action for Environment Protection and Promotion of Agricultural Sector (APEFA).

Speaking to TOP AFRICA NEWS, Kubwayezu Livingistone from APEFA, attested that community perception of the project has been changed and they are now playing their role in the implementation.

“In the beginning, there were challenges to convince people a that we were going to plant trees in their farms. However, as they get briefed on the goals of the project, they made up their minds and they are now committed to the project.

Apart from such competitions, campaign activities are also carried out in the community gatherings (Inteko z’abaturage) held every week in their respective villages, where they receive messages to encourage them to take care and maintain the project’s achievement in order to prevent biodiversity degradation in Amayaga region.

Engaging young generation for sustainable future

Not only football competition that has been used for campaign activities but also other types of competition were taken into consideration including schools cultural-based competition, a platform created by the project to inspire young minds to become advocates for sustainable practices.

Through these school-based competitions, Green Amayaga Project is engaging students in creative expressions of climate and conservation themes to ignite a passion for environmental stewardship that will endure for years to come, creating a brighter and more sustainable future for the Amayaga region and beyond.

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