Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015 the United Nations (UN) formulated seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the common goal of ending poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030.

A large part of the people in Sub-Saharan Africa lives in poverty. The lack of good education is one of the main causes. With the sports and play program, Join for Joy makes a tangible contribution to the quality of primary education in the remote rural areas of East Africa. Meaningful education, in which sports and play are integrated, has favorable long-term effects. It is fundamental to building healthy local communities with higher standards of living, to creating more opportunities for personal development and thus a better future for vulnerable children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sport has always been an integral part of people’s development and is an excellent means of contributing to the SDGs. As Mandela stated: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope, where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs at the face of all types of discrimination.”   

Join for Joy focuses on the following four SDGs.

SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being
Health is essential for the sustainable development of people, regardless of their age. Although the infant mortality rate has fallen sharply in recent decades, six million children still die every year before they reach the age of five. The vast majority of these six million children live in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is partly due to poor care at birth and malnutrition. The other half of the infant mortality rates can be traced back to pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria. It is all the more important to first of all keep children as healthy as possible by being physically active at school, but also to educate children about the symptoms of illnesses, so that they can recognize them and request medical help in time. Through our sports and play activities, children learn about HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases and epidemics such as Covid-19. In addition to the physical well-being of children, we also focus on their emotional well-being in a playful way.

SDG 4: Quality Education
61 million children worldwide do not go to school. About half of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past twenty years, some progress has been made: compared to the beginning of the twentieth century, the numbers of children that are not attending school have halved. But attending school is not the whole story. 103 million young people worldwide are, whether they are or have been in school or not, still unable to read or write. Therefore, the ambition is to make sure that all boys and girls finish both primary and secondary school. Join for Joy supports primary schools in offering meaningful education, by introducing the power of playful learning. Meaningful education invites children to come to school, and to stay in school.

We train teachers to integrate sports and play into the existing curriculum. Values ​​such as respect for rules and for others, teamwork, diversity and empathy are inherently transmitted and learned through sports. We also use sports and play as a playful tool to teach students about serious topics such as violence, child labor, teen pregnancies, child marriages, hygiene and (contagious) diseases. Knowledge and awareness of these issues allow students to develop into resilient boys and girls with a positive perspective on the future.

SDG 5: Gender Equality
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that men and women have the same rights. Equality between men and women is “the basis for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world”, according to the United Nations. Nevertheless, in practice women and girls, compared to men and boys, are often still disadvantaged in the areas of education, health care and work. Our Sports and Play Program is designed to support girls to develop more self-confidence, resilience and resilience. We train teachers to pay explicit attention to breaking down prejudices and stereotypes in topics that are discussed in class, in specific games and in methods of teaching.

SDG 17: Partnership
In order to achieve all ambitions by 2030, it is crucial that governments, businesses, citizens and organizations – at global, regional, national and local level – work together on the SDGs on the basis of a shared vision. Join for Joy has a strong network of partner organizations and regional and local government agencies. In addition, we also join forces in the Netherlands with organizations that pursue the same mission, so that we can share and exchange our knowledge and best practices.