Fight for Peace partner wins Sport for Peace and Social Justice Award

28/07/2017 – Grupo Internacional de Paz (GIP), a partner in Fight for Peace’s Global Network, has won a prestigious award at the ninth annual Beyond Sport Awards held in New York City. Operating in disadvantaged communities in Medellín, Colombia, GIP was granted the Sport for Peace and Social Justice Award for its Mi Vida es un Diamante (My Life is a Diamond) programme. Present at the ceremony was GIP Director Beatriz Mejía who accepted the award on behalf of the organisation.

Grupo Internacional de Paz is a community based organisation committed to using sport for social transformation and peace building in Colombia. GIP works simultaneously with the government, local authorities, international organisations, foundations, businesses and universities in support of the reconciliation and reconstruction of communities affected by violence.

Highlighted for recognition at the Beyond Sport Awards, GIP’s Mi Vida es un Diamante programme uses baseball as a means to help children and teenagers strengthen their abilities to respond to threats in their surroundings, seeking to prevent the involvement of young people in illegal activities and violence associated with drug trafficking. Following GIP’s involvement in Fight for Peace’s Global Network, the organisation has developed the highly successful Path to the Ring programme which uses boxing to support young people living in deprived areas.

Reacting to the Award, GIP Director Beatriz Mejía said: “this award comes in a perfect moment for Colombia and for our organisation. We believe in the power of sports as a tool for social transformation and peace building, and seven years using it in locations with high levels of violence and deprivation have brought us to this moment. We want to use our experience and the opportunities brought by this award to continue being an active agent of transformation and reconciliation in a post-conflict Colombia and in Mexico. This is great recognition of the hard work and engagement of resilient community leaders, families and communities that have taken part in the programme.”

The Beyond Sport Awards celebrate, support, raise awareness and provide funding for ways sport can help tackle some of the most pressing social issues in the world today. This year the awards included a total of 250 entries from 70 countries with 13 organisations being recognised at the New York ceremony. In 2017, Beyond Sport overhauled its awards to align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting a belief that using sport is an effective and game-changing approach to addressing extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.