Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 10.58.24 AM        “A MOVEMENT FOR CROSS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING AND TEAM                      LEADERSHIP THROUGH SPORTS”

Inspired by the International Day of Peace decreed by the United Nations, Palms Solutions, the African Diaspora Global Initiative, in collaboration with the African Community Leaders, introduced the Philadelphia African Cup of Nations for Peace (PACONP) to the city.  The commitment to use soccer as the way to bring our communities together to address some of our common issues took its baby steps from our collaboration with Philly Peace Day in 2012. Four teams were present including Sierra Leone, Mali and two teams from Liberia. The spirit of togetherness and care for each other using soccer as a common ground, grew to be known in 2013 as the ” Philadelphia African Cup Of Nations for Peace(PACONP)”.  Each tournament is thematically attached to a focus that reflects Peace, Positive Social Change, Acceptance, and Inclusion. For instance    

 In 2012 we have played under the theme Unity in Diversity”  

In 2013 we played under the theme “One Continent, One Team, One Goal”

In 2014 we played under the theme One Team Against Ebola”

In 2015 we are playing under the theme “Philadelphia African Health Cup”

In 2016 we are playing under “Philly Unity” in support of the Mayor’s initiative

Our main goals include to:

  • Promote awareness for the International Day of Peace and the Culture of the Peace Movement.
  • The practice of sport as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle and Cultural Diplomacy
  • Create a great platform for engaging different race, ethnic, religious, gender entities in our city, in a process of new venues for camaraderie and collaboration.
  • Build tolerance and respect for diversity, and cross-cultural understanding
  • Encourage and strengthen immigrants and refugees to become agents of social change in the U.S, and their respective countries.

To fulfill these goals, PACONP is committed to enhance cross-cultural understanding, dialogue and collaboration through sports, and play the role of agent in the following areas:

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Agent for Unity: PACONP is our way to mobilize, unify and engage the majority of the 16000 immigrant African communities in Philadelphia, regardless of their political social and ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Given the importance and the place of soccer in the hearts of most Africans, we saw it fit to use PACONP, not only as a weapon of choice to fight factionalism and hostility, but also as a powerful medicine for hope, healing, mutual forgiveness and unity.

Agent for Peace: PACONP has enormously contributed in turning African immigrants into agents for Peace, especially in countries with internal ethnic and religious conflicts. To that end, we are proud to report that our efforts have been very fruitful among immigrants from countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Sudan where factions from wars played in the same team, and promised to send a “One Voice Letter” to their respective government to promote peace.

Agent for Social Change: With its strong emphasis on tolerance, respect for diversity, as well as the development of friendly and peaceful relationship, PACONP continues to be effective in promoting more stable and inclusive communities between African and African American, especial in South and North Philly, where the social interaction between the two groups was very alarming.

Agent for Healthy Life Style: This year our focus will be on healthy life style and preventive measures. PACONP 2015 also known as Philadelphia African Health Cup, is focussing on increasing health awareness among its constituents, by collaborating with medical institutions to help promote the importance of following a healthy lifestyle, and raising the overall quality of life through sports.

Click here to learn more about PACONP, and discover our 2015 Champions      

IMG_0460                                   THE IVORY COAST WINNER OF PACONP 2015