The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has formed a partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Sports Institute in making the Children’s Games a more powerful tool for character-building and values formation.
Unesco consultant Caroline Baxter Tresise sat down with PSC officials on Thursday and offered to align the Unesco methodology with the national sports policies of the PSC.
“We’re really excited to work with the PSI and the PSC on this project. We’ll be leading grassroots initiatives, particularly for out-of-school children in Metro Manila and other areas,” said Tresise, consultant specializing in Unesco’s Youth and Sport Social and Human Sciences Unit.
The Paris-based peace and security organization took cognizance of the Children’s Games held in Davao City last May ironically on the same day that the Marawi conflict erupted.
“This is an excellent opportunity for the Philippines to take the lead because this is the first time we’re doing it in the Southeast Asian region,’’ said Tresise, who met with PSC chair Butch Ramirez, PSI national training director Marc Edward Velasco and deputy training director Henry Daut.
“We will use the Philippines as an example on how it should be done,’’ she added.
Ramirez has been invited to discuss the Children’s Games in the 6th
International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport in Kazan, Russia next week.
The Kazan Action Plan of the Unesco, an international sports policy and framework for long-term cooperation among countries worldwide, is expected to be passed by sports ministers around the world.
“We won the overall title in the Southeast Asian Games (in 2005) and had our share of successes in sports, but we were never invited by Unesco,’’ said Ramirez. “Our project is very peripheral and yet they have noticed it.”
“It means that molding the character of children through sports is important in nation-building and this is where the PSC is focused on,’’ added Ramirez.
Despite the strife in Marawi, the Games designed for kids 12 years old and below gathered more than 1,000 children from Davao’s diverse communities of Christians, Lumads and Muslims.