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Using Inclusive Sport for Social Change in Malawi, Africa

Patricia J. Craig, Bob Barcelona, Semra Aytur, Jess Amato, Sarah J. Young


This report draws upon the first year of the Youth Enrichment through Sports (YES)-Africa cooperative agreement focused on sport for social change involving five sub-Saharan African countries. The YES-Africa program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to enhance cross-cultural understanding and collaboration between individuals and nations. The YESAfrica Malawi exchange builds capacity for sport leaders in Malawi to implement inclusive sport and recreation for youth with disabilities. This case study employs a content analysis of international and national legislative and policy agendas addressing inclusion of youth with disabilities within the context of sport, and explores barriers to policy implementation through interviews with seven key stakeholders and a review of structured field notes. Findings suggest that while Malawi’s legislative and policy landscape appears to adequately address the needs of youth with disabilities broadly, implementation is limited by social, physical, and socio-environmental barriers. We explore contributions of TR professionals in addressing key policy priorities in developing countries.

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Inclusive youth sport; Malawi; Africa; therapeutic recreation; United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

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