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Court inauguration in Jamestown, Ghana

Slam dunk!

Sports teaches valuable life skills. Through the Playground Project, IOM and SEED project leverage the educational power of basketball to equip Ghanaian youth to achieve their dreams.  

Tune in on Friday 2 July at 10 am UTC on Instagram to follow the live inauguration of the renovated court in Jamestown, Accra.

IOM and SEED project worked alongside local partner DUNK Grassroot to refurbish the basketball court at the GaMashie Development Agency.

Can basketball help youth achieve their dreams?

Playground empowers young people to create viable alternatives to irregular migration. We leverage the educational power of basketball to equip youth with life skills and self-resilience.

Playground is a partnership between IOM and SEED funded through the EU – IOM Joint Initiative.

By supporting local partners like Essamaye Basketball Club (Senegal) and DUNK (Ghana), Playground strengthens existing local dynamics in the heart of communities. Together, we build a culture of self-development and pride on and beyond the court.

Local coordinator “Coach Will” at the Bignona court in Senegal / Picture by Luca Putteman, IOM

The pilot phase (April – July 2021) focuses on the refurbishment of youth-friendly basketball courts. SEED projects brings in top notch expertise to refurbish existing courts and surrounding infrastructure following international (FIBA) standards and intergrading gender and child safeguarding. Our presence on the ground allows us to exchange with communities and better understand local dynamics to propose adapted activities in the future.

Meet the project partners:

IOM, UN Migration

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

IOM was born in 1951, formally joined the United Nations system in 2016, and is now the Coordinator and Secretariat for the UN Migration Network, established in 2019.

The playground project is managed by the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa (Dakar), where a dedicated Awareness Raising Unit oversees community engagement activities and different awareness-raising campaigns.

SEED Project

The Sports for Education and Economic Development Project ( uses education and basketball to develop the next generation of African leaders. The NGO’s programs are designed to inspire, empower and equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in life. Through this, SEED redefines the student-athlete model and works towards developing socially conscious leaders that will continue to drive the continent forward. 

SEED Project serves hundreds of youth weekly (grades K-College) throughout Africa by rehabilitating courts and after-school academic, athletic, and leadership development programs. Community empowerment is also delivered through the training of trainers targeting youth basketball coaches across Africa.

Left to right: Malick “Niofar” local influencer, Luca Putteman from IOM Regional Office, Coach Will, Mayor of Bignona, Mactar Ndiaye from SEED Project and the local constructor.

European Union

In 2016, the European Union launched with IOM the  Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Africa. Funded through the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the initiative’s goal is to improve migrant protection, voluntary return, and reintegration along the Central Mediterranean route in Africa.

At a time when the numbers of deaths, exploitation, and abuse recorded on the Central Mediterranean migration route are at an all-time high, the need to promote safe and informed migration is more important than ever.

The Playground Project Partners wish to contribute to better-informed migration choices, but also empower young people to decide their own futures and to build their dreams back home.

Check in on this page for regular updates on the project or email [email protected] for more info.


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