The Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposed implementing a project focused on sports diplomacy in order to help victims of the armed conflict, which has lasted in Colombia for over 50 years. Sixteen teenagers with sports talent from the Putumayo Department took part in the sports diplomacy project at the University of Physical Education in Warsaw in September 2015. A trip abroad may be one of very few life opportunities for these young people to gain experience and learn about the reality of life in peace. The legal basis for the cooperation pertaining to sports diplomacy is the Declaration of the Intention to Cooperate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombia on promoting sports diplomacy, of 9 March, 2015.
A group of 14 teenagers, girls and boys, aged 16-17, from the Colombian communes, most affected by the armed conflict, are the beneficiaries of the project.
The project is scheduled to be implemented from 1 to 10 September 2016 by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Bogota. The general objective of the project is to show the local community from the regions of Colombia affected by the armed conflict an alternative to participating in criminal structures or the guerilla. The project participants will come from the communes most likely to be recruited by illegal armed groups or the mafia. Sport is often one of the few alternatives that young Colombians find to participating in criminal groups. The implementation of the project would constitute the contribution of Poland into reconstructing the country after the armed conflict. The project is compliant with the millennium goals and priorities of the Colombian government.
On 1 September, a group of 14 Colombians aged 16-17 will begin an eight-day basketball (7 boys) and volleyball training (7 girls). They will be accompanied by three Colombian coaches. Their trainings will be conducted by qualified coaches in the Warsaw AZS-AWF Sports Club. Two days of their ten-day visit will be reserved for a trip around Warsaw (the Warsaw Rising Museum, the Old Town, etc.) and learning about Polish sports facilities (e.g. the Stadium of Legia Warsaw).
For the purposes of calculation, the following exchange rate was applied: USD 1 = PLN 4.1749.
The project was completed from 4 to 14 September, 2016. Young people participating in the project were able to learn about an alternative to participating in criminal groups thanks to the trainings and visit to Poland. The trip abroad may be one of very few life opportunities for these young people to gain experience and learn about the reality of life in peace. A group of 14 Colombians aged 16-17 participated in an eight-day basketball (7 boys) and volleyball training (7 girls) at the University of Physical Education in Warsaw. Their trainings were conducted by qualified coaches. Two days of their ten-day visit were reserved for a trip to Krakow. Except for having trainings, they also had a chance to visit Warsaw.
The value of the project amounted to 16,000 American dollars and was fully covered by the Polish Aid's donation.