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Review of the World Social Forum 2013 in Tunisia

The Conference was held in the spirit of “Sport for All as Instrument for Social Cooperation”


What is the World Social Forum?

The World Social Forum is an open space – plural, diverse, non-governmental and non-partisan – that stimulates decentralized debate, reflection, proposal building, experience exchange and alliances among movements and organizations engaged in concrete actions towards a world with more solidarity, democratic and fair world.


ISCA and its partner organisation the Italian Union for Sport for All (UISP) attended the World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunis from the 26th to the 30th of March. It was a great opportunity to meet NGOs, associations and representatives of international movements.


The Italian Union for Sport for All (UISP) has a history at the World Social Forum: they first participated in the WSF in Nairobi, Kenya in 2007, where the UISP organised a marathon in order to promote basic rights in the district Korogocho, located in the slums of Nairobi. Since then the UISP took part in the WSF congress in Belem, Brazil in 2009 and in Dakar, Senegal in 2011.


UISP’s presence became more evident when they organised the Village of Sportforall for the first time at WSF in Dakar. Sportforall offers sport and recreational activities, workshops and conferences. UISP also organised the Sportforall village this year and offered many different sport and motor activities; tournaments and volleyball matches, football, traditional games and dances, both Italian and Tunisian, juggling, acrobatics and break dance. These activities will be realised with local sport clubs and associations.


ISCA on the other hand is a part of the International Council of the WSF - the body which coordinates all the activities from WSF. It has been recognized as an integrated part of social international movements, addressing the importance of social sport as a formidable instrument for social inclusion, protest against discrimination, and the building of citizenship and democratic participation.


There were several stimulating discussions at the WSF, for example the debate about “Sport, human and social empowerment” or the meeting on “Social impact of big sport event: Confederation Cup and World Football Cup 2014 and Olympic Games 2016 in Brazil". The WSF offered numerous well-known organisations and the possibility to meet and discuss topics with common interests. Here are some of the exciting organizations that participated at the WSF: UISP, ISCA, League de l'Enseignement, UFOLEP, the Tunisian Association of Traditional Games, the NGO Peace Games, and Sport alla Rovescia.


During the meeting all participants introduced the characteristics of their organisations explaining how they use sport as a tool for social inclusion and to promote active participation in a democratic society. Tunisian representatives in particular explained about the work they do in order to preserve Tunisian cultural patrimony through the recuperation of traditional games trying to exploit all social and pedagogical value of this activity.


One of the results of the meeting was the acknowledgement of the intention to develop relationships for collaboration in exchanges of experiences and educational training. A proposal to establish collaborations for social sport associations emerged during the meeting in order to work together on the development of educational projects.


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Photo: Mirko Cecchi / YES! Magazine.