Inhabitants of emergency areas



Emergencies: Are defined as situations or impending situations caused by forces of nature, accidents or an intentional act that constitutes a danger of major proportions to life and property. Post emergency is an emergency in which an emergency has ended. Such situations can remain tense for years or decades and can easily relapse into large-scale violence.

Specific groups this Activity Box applies to

Some examples of emergency or disaster situations are: wars, genocides, terrorism acts, natural disaster, other types of accidents (e.g., Chernobyl)


  • Approx.28.5 million children of primary school age who do not attend school live in conflict-affected areas (UN).
  • An estimated 250,000 people died in the 2010 Haiti earthquake. At least another 300,000 people were injured.
  • 6845 youths were disarmed through a Sport initiative as part of the DDR (disarmament, demobilization and reintegration) process during the civil war of Sierra Leone.

Why is it so important


Well-designed Sport for All programmes in the aftermath of a disaster or emergency can be a constructive medium. Some of their contributions are:

  • Alleviating trauma and strengthening of resilience.
  • Peace and reconciliation in post-conflict situations.
  • Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration.
  • Education and development of life skills.
  • Health and Psychosocial rehabilitation.
  • Community building.
  •  Bringing external AID and relief to territories.

International endorsement

UNESCO international charter of physical education, physical activity and Sport
Sport programmes should aim at eradicating poverty, and strengthening democracy, human rights, security, a culture of peace and non-violence, dialogue and conflict resolution, tolerance and non-discrimination, social inclusion, gender equality, the rule of law, sustainability, environmental awareness, health, education and the role of civil society.

Barriers to sport that should be overcome

  • Lack of facilities and Sport equipment.
  • Economic constraints.
  • The threat of dictatorships and other belligerent groups.
  • Mobilisation of communities to new settlements.
  • Lack of water and other basic resources: Hydration is a resource that cannot be neglected in Sport interventions.

Tips and key success factors

Sport should be part of a multidisciplinary strategy that requires the support of other partners

  • Programmes are most effective when well-coordinated with other sectors and longer-term programming.
  • These activities complement traditional relief activities (food, shelter, water & sanitation, protection) and should be designed as part of an overarching emergency response programme.

Understand the origins and current state of the disaster

  •  A genocide compared to an earthquake imply different treatments of the same problem, which is healing traumas produced by that situation.
  • Children and youths are particularly at risk. Before starting any Sport programme, children exposed to trauma must have food, psychosocial assistance, shelter and age-appropriate care.
  • Before initiating a reconciliation process, it is mandatory to stabilise an assessment of the disaster to understand situations such as the level of risk of outbreaks, level of reliability in dominant groups, among others.
  • If natural catastrophes occur, e.g., zones with high seismicity levels.

Consider the role of Sport in each phase of intervention:

Response stage

  • Create safe spaces & activities to occupy children & youth.
  • Sanitation & hygiene education/outreach.
  • Assess the overall situation.

Recovery stage

  • Deliver structured treatment to alleviate trauma and return to normalcy.
  • Pairing with supportive adult figures and facilitating re-entry to school.
  • Spread joy and happiness.


  • Develop leadership.
  • Promote cooperation and conflict management skills.
  • Raise awareness about HIV/ AIDS and other diseases

Other Tips:

  • The application of cooperative games is important to reach reintegration and peace goals.
  • Handmade equipment workshops should be considered due to the shortage of these resources. . Promote participation happiness and relief with small rewards such as medals of diplomas.
  • Do not start a Sport for All programme if there is at least a minimum odd of having a new outbreak of the disaster

Available resources

  • Sport intervention after the Earthquake 2016 in Ecuador.
  • Sport initiative as part of the DDR (disarmament, demobilization and reintegration) process during the civil war of Sierra Leone. Click Here

Sample case

Haiti Recovery

(ITTF – ITTF Foundation)

  • ITTF provided table tennis equipment in the refugee camps, as there were large numbers of displaced and traumatised children, who are looking for some light in the darkness.
  • In the long-term, the project works on rebuilding the Haitian Table Tennis Association by building, replacing equipment and coaches assisting in various ways.
  • Aim: To re-establish and expand the table tennis activities within the Island after the earthquake with stress on school promotions.


More information:

Project report Haiti Recovery. Click Here