Today the ADB Youth for Asia Team met with IFMA Muaythai General Secretary of the Philippines and fellow task force member, Pearl Managuelod, to discuss the launch of the joint project with UNESCO "Transforming Cities through Sport" in MetroManila in November.
With a special focus on gender equality and out-of-school youth, the project aims to enhance the liveability of cities and contribute to sustainable urban development by making use of “wasted” spaces and involving city-level public authorities in the process. By holding weekly sports activities, we will engage the community in the on-going transformation of the spaces and create areas for sport and physical activity that are inclusive, safe and will greatly enhance the suburb while boosting social cohesion at the same time.
Muaythai is a particularly powerful tool for gender equality and female empowerment as girls' participation in the sport challenges many gender stereotypes. Similarly, for those affected by violence, Muaythai is especially beneficial to repair and boost confidence while also teaching practical self-defence. It is also extremely fun and engages even the most marginalised youth. For this project, the major benefit of using Muaythai is that we can sustain the involvement of the community over a long period of time. They enjoy it, so they keep coming back. Once we have their attention we can develop tailored interventions to suit their specific needs.
Transforming Cities through Sport will also launch in Lima, Peru before the end of the year!!