July 27th, 2017: ChildFund Australia
ChildFund Pass It Back, a unique sport for development program in Asia, has won the UNICEF Safeguarding Children in Sport Award at the prestigious Beyond Sport Global Awards.
The high profile event is held annually at the One World Observatory in New York to highlight organisations which are successfully using sport to promote and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. ChildFund Pass It Back was also shortlisted for the Best Partnership or Collaboration award.
Margaret Sheehan, ChildFund Australia’s International Program Director, who accepted the award at the event, said: “This is a program that we are incredibly proud off, and is highly deserving of this award. Not only does ChildFund Pass It Back give marginalised children from poor communities in Asia the opportunity to learn valuable life skills through rugby, but our child safeguarding systems mean we support children’s rights to be protected from all types of physical and emotional harm.
“Given our expertise in this area, ChildFund is now sharing best practice safeguarding methods among rugby federations across Asia, in the lead-up to global sporting events taking place in the region over the next four years.”
ChildFund’s Pass it Back program was set up for children in rural and remote communities of Laos and Vietnam, who face significant challenges around poverty and inequality. Implemented in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win, more than 3,000 children and youth from Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam have benefitted from participation in the program with more than half of all players and coaches female.
Ms Sheehan said: “We know that where safeguarding measures are working effectively, this has the added benefit of increasing the number of girls taking part in organised sports activities. ChildFund Pass It Back is testament to this – currently, more than half of all players and coaches are female.”
About ChildFund Pass It Back
ChildFund Pass It Back is an innovative Sport for Development program led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby, Asia Rugby and Women Win. The program aims to equip children and young people in Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and ‘pass it back’ to their communities.
About Margaret Sheehan
Margaret Sheehan is the International Program Director at ChildFund Australia. With a Masters in Public Health, she has over two decades of experience managing international development programs and personnel in field office settings. In recent years, Margaret has been responsible for emergency programming implementation, including the management of the $150 million Strategic Response Plan for Typhoon Haiyan Emergency in the Philippines, and supporting the development of the Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen in 2016. Prior to joining ChildFund, Margaret held a number of in-country roles with UNICEF and the World Health Organisation.