Seven young people from the DfC Uniting Communities programme are preparing to embark on a Commonwealth Games Council led journey to Rwanda where they will be engaged in a world leading programme covering Human Rights in Sport. 

Leaving on Thursday 29th August, the Young Ambassadors, aged 17 to 25, have all been drawn from the programme delivered by the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust in partnership with PeacePlayers Northern Ireland and will be travelling with Trust Athlete Manager Adam Whitehead on the fact-finding trip. 

The Young Ambassadors will attend the Commonwealth Games Federation’s General Assembly and a session of the Commonwealth Forum for National Human Rights Institutions which will be running concurrently in Kigali. This is the first time that the two groupings have come together to run joint sessions connecting Sport and Human Rights. Other agencies attending will include UNICEF, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Geneva based Centre for Sport and Human Rights.

The travelling party will work with young Rwandan volunteers and community groups, while learning about the events surrounding the 1994 Genocide and the reconciliation efforts that have turned the country around over the last quarter century. It is estimated that nearly 1 million people died during the Genocide, but Rwanda has managed to rebuild and become one of Africa’s most stable countries with an exciting future. It is hoped that lessons around reconciliation and respect will be learnt and brought back to Northern Ireland. The Young Ambassadors will hopefully be able to use their Rwandan experiences to help unite communities at home using sport and creativity.

Robert McVeigh (Chair, Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council)

We are delighted to be working with a range of partners, both locally and internationally, to provide this unique opportunity for young people to gain experience and understanding of the role that sport can play in promoting Human Rights. Commonwealth Sport has been a strong advocate for Human Rights within the global sporting community over a number of years and we are proud that Northern Ireland is able to play such a significant role.

You'll be able to follow the progress of the trip via the Trust's Twitter account where we'll be posting pictures, stories and quotes from the eight day trip.