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UPF-Georgia Observes UN Day to End Racial Discrimination

Tbilisi, Georgia  UPF-Georgia conducted trainings on “Stop Racism – Take Action” and an Interracial Soccer Tournament in partnership with African Union, sponsored by United Nations office. The programs were organized to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21, and to facilitate the reduction of racism through education and dialogue.

"We must join forces to end racism, and sport can help reach this goal," declared UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the 2013 observance of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; "let us recommit to ending racial discrimination and realizing our vision of justice, equality and freedom from fear for all."

The previous day, March 20, was the first celebration of the new International Day of Happiness, established by a resolution by the UN General Assembly. Everyone without exception is struggling to attain happiness and avoid misfortune. To be happy is to be one with someone. People need partner in order to feel joy. So UPF-Georgia organized these activities in support of the goal to eliminate the barriers dividing human family, among them being racial barrier.  

On March 21 in Public School #136 pupils of the 9th and 10th grades met with Leonard Seka, a member of the African Union from the Ivory Coast. He shared about roots of racism: the belief that characteristics and abilities can be attributed to people simply on the basis of their race and that some racial groups are superior to others. Pupils discussed the feelings of people who suffer discrimination and some facts of African culture and history. At the end, the song "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" was shown, which features over 80 artists and performers of different races and generations with their hearts and souls completely open to coming together to help the people of Haiti.

The playground of Free University became the place for the competition between four soccer teams on March 23. African teams from Ivory Coast and Cameroon and Georgian teams from the Free University and the NGO “Georgia for helping refugees” were competing on the field, sweating and panting. All participating teams displayed ethical behavior and sportsmanship during the matches. The team of the NGO “Georgia for helping refugees” displayed enthusiastic spirit and great will for victory and won the first prize. The winners shared their medals with African players. After the matches, competitors enjoyed snacks and big celebration cake in family atmosphere. They felt no barriers but celebrated their common victory of expanding their sphere of fellowship. This was evidence that the bonds of heart are the best weapon against racism. 

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