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Twic Olympics, Sudan 2009

6 years ago42 views

This is the annual peace olympics in South Sudan. Like the international olympics it's both a celebration of sporting achievement and a way to bring people together. This sporting festival pits the countys six payams (districts) against each other for sporting glory but more importantly brings them together in a spirit of peace and friendship. Christian Aid is one of 12 international organisations that fund the games. Sports include football, distance running, volleyball and tug o' war. Jimmy Makuach is a former Lost Boy, one of thousands of Sudanese refugees forced to flee the civil war. He has spent most of his life in exile, first in Ethiopia and Kenya, then in the USA. He's returned to Sudan to co-ordinate the Olympics. War was still raging when the Twic Olympics began in 2000. It was another five years before the northern government and the southern rebels reached a peace agreement, allowing those displaced by war to return home. However the peace is fragile. As well as organising the games, Supraid uses the opportunity of such a large gathering to conduct education on issues such as HIV prevention, peace building and reconciliation. The games offer a chance for people and youths especially returning after the war to integrate back into their communities by being part of a sporting team. It is also simply a fun and exciting diversion from everyday life.