Adyl's Story: Youth Crime Prevention through Sports

Chuy Region, Kyrgyzstan – After graduating from Voenno Antonovka Children’s Orphanage in 2018 at the age of 16, Adyl struggled to start an independent life. Factors such as low income, difficulty finding well-paying jobs and demands from school made it hard to succeed. For many young people who graduate from orphanages, there is a strong temptation to quit school and start working. Informal jobs, such as being a handyman or a waiter, increase the risk of labour exploitation as these young graduates are often not aware of their human rights and are struggling to survive on their own.
With help from UNODC’s Line Up Live Up Programme through the Oasis Foundation, Adyl was able to gain the support he needed through sports and educational opportunities. Adel explains that, “Fortunately, immediately after leaving the orphanage, I met with social workers of the Oasis Foundation, who became my compass and supported me”.
The “Sport for Life” Project, run by Oasis Foundation in Kyrgyzstan, is supported by UNODC grants scheme in 2019 under the Youth Crime Prevention through Sports Initiative and the Global Programme for the implementation of the Doha Declaration aiming to support civil society organizations using sport as a vehicle to work with youth in marginalized communities. These communities are often at-risk of being involved in crime, violence or drug use. This initiative aims to build resilience of young people who are vulnerable violence, crime and drug abuse through empowerment and skills development by creating safe spaces for young people to interact positively and challenge harmful normative beliefs.
Adyl goes onto the explain that, “I also started playing football, and I became captain of the Oasis sports team. Our team trains every Friday at the “Hope Academy”, where I also attend the Line Up Live Up programme of UNODC that teaches me how to manage my emotions, sets goals and gain self-confidence. The feeling of internal victory is the most important thing that I got through the project. When a person can defeat his laziness, bad habits, he is ready to win other big challenges of his adult life”.
Overall, the “Sport for Life” project in Kyrgyzstan has supported 60 vulnerable children like Adyl, with sport-based life skills training which includes UNODC’s Line Up Live UP programme. Additionally, 76 children received legal assistance, counselling and supported in their transition to adult and independent life, whilst more than 100 children participated to sport festivals and events. 
The Youth Crime Prevention through Sport initiative contributes to the achievement of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Notably, the initiative assists Member States in achieving SDG Target 16.2 on ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children as well as SDG Target 4.4 on increasing the number of youth who have relevant skills – including technical and vocational skills – for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
The initiative also contributes to the overall goals of SDG 5 on gender equality through challenging negative stereotypes and attitudes that condone or justify gender-based violence, SDG 3 on good health and wellbeing by promoting healthy life styles and sport activities for youth, as well as the prevention of drug use, and SDG 11 on building resilient and healthy urban communities.