Western countries often look down on African countries and their policies. Resulting in a failure to see the progressive policies that they can actually learn from. To speed up progress, we need to learn from all countries around the world, independent of their HDI or political orientation.
Over the past years, something has stood out to me regarding the scandals in the gymnastics world. Sport federations are almost always a monopoly. There appears to be a lack of supervision, consequences, and a lack of competition or alternatives.
Young girls and women should not be told every single month that they do not have to participate because they are on their period. Instead, they need to be empowered to participate, no matter what.
Today, 14th of February 2021, it is exactly 1 year ago since I moved to Addis Abeba, Ethiopia for work. As is the case for everyone, it has been quite a year. A year full of surprises, challenges, accomplishments and personal development.
When I was training I would never have thought that there are forms of my sport or places where it is mostly practiced by men and even a taboo for women to practice it. On the other side of the world, in a completely different context, men were training acrobatics. For them it was unimaginable that a woman would be able to do what they were doing.
The team is a family, a safety net. They will never drop anyone once you become part of it. They understand each other and are transparent about their issues. Money issues are common in this area, but the acrobats found a solution to that.
Imagine being unable to express yourself artistically because you have never been taught how, or even been punished for doing so. Education all over the world should have greater emphasis on creativity, sports and arts. This could not just create new labour opportunities but investing in these talents serves as a great way to develop transferable life skills.
There is a lot of knowledge that is forgone just because we are too stubborn to appreciate that although people might have a different culture or political system, their knowledge and opinions are as valuable as ours and we can learn a great deal from listening to them.
When your sport is your job, things become different. This job means that your body is your livelihood. Choices regarding the body become tougher. What if you are in a situation where you even have to consider transport costs to go to the hospital? What if the money spent on the hospital, would otherwise be invested in your child’s education?