‘We Play for Unity’
The project’s main goal is to promote sport, and in particular Rugby, as a culture of peace. It provides opportunities for young men from across the East-West conflict divide to engage in meaningful interactions, challenge stereotypes, build relationships, and unite as Libyans around a common interest and goal.
In the current phase, called ‘We Play for Unity’, players from the East and West of the country are training together and participating in competitions and tournaments at the local, national and international levels.
In September 2016, a training camp in Cyrene, Libya, supported by PCi And many from the private sector , brought together players from the East and West of the country to prepare for their first international competition, the Arab Rugby Championship in Marrakech, Morocco. Unfortunately, the players failed to obtain visas to Morocco; nevertheless, the team travelled to Tunisia, where it played some friendly matches with Tunisian teams. This was a formative experience for the players, which built their confidence, unity and strength as a team.
The project was chosen by PCi’s Peacebuilding Practitioners Network as one of four inter-community social peace actions to be supported through small grants. Contributions covered the rental of the rugby pitch, training outfits and gear, accommodation, catering, and transport from and to Tripoli and Benghazi.
Building relationships across the conflict divide
This project has provided much needed opportunities for young men from across the East-West conflict divide to engage in meaningful interactions with their peers and, in so doing, challenge stereotypes, build relationships, and unite as Libyans around a common interest and goal.
Preventing the radicalisation of young men
The training activities deter young men from becoming involved in armed fighting and/or being attracted by radical political ideologies, as they provide a constructive and enjoyable way of employing their time.
This is the first step to create a unified team, carrying the flag of Libya and representing all Libyans.
Libyan National Rugby Team player
We expected that there would be conflicts between players from East and West, but the exact opposite happened.
Libyan National Rugby Team trainer