|South Sudanese refugees in Uganda line up. Pic: Dorah Ntunga/Oxfam|
Both programs, one UN-backed, the other run through Oxfam, speak to the power of the game to generate co-operation through play and fun, always the easiest route for humans to find solutions....
The UN project in Somalia aimed to commemorate World Peace Day later this month. The key message is this, I think, from Somali Football Federation President Abdiqani Said Arab who reportedly "sent a strong message to the UN requesting the world body to pay much attention to football which has so far been used as an element of peace building and yielded positive results."
Clunky translation maybe, but you get the point.
Not sure however what research Mr Arab may be alluding to as there does not appear to be a lot. Anecdotal evidence is fairly plentiful though and this may be what he was noting.
This program in Uganda, run by Oxfam, similarly utilises the ability of the beautiful game to allow players to forget their woes - in this case being exiled from their homes in South Sudan - and to perhaps discover ways they can work with their "enemies".