The Asian German Sports Exchange Programme (A.G.S.E.P.) is a non commercial AGO (Government-associated-Organisation) which supports the Sri Lankan peace process by means of organising sports events and social projects. The headquarters are located in Marawila, Sri Lanka; an office of correspondence is located in Essen, Germany. Dietmar Doering is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of A.G.S.E.P.
The Asian German Exchange Programme (A.G.S.E.P.) supports the Sri Lankan peace process by means of organising sports events and social projects.
The A.G.S.E.P.-Projects are up to using sports as a resource for supporting the Sri Lankan peace process. After 20 years of civil war, Sri Lanka should be reunited by trying to get over the ethnical, cultural and religious conflicts between of the Singhalese, Tamils and Muslims. In this case, sport is an excellent method to succeed. There is not much of another possibility to merge people with different social backgrounds, remember the Olympic Games. Sport as a kind of social communication promotes cross-cultural understanding without to fail in barriers of language.
Some examples for different A.G.S.E.P.-projects:
1. National & International Run for Peace
The National Run for Peace in the 80s was the first sport event in which Singhalese, Muslims and Tamils took an active part. Attendees from 12 cities of Sri Lanka crossed more than 150 km to meet in Kandy to celebrate their common passion of sports. Inspired by this success the National Run for Peace occurred. About 200 national and international sport fans came together regardless of their social differences. The run trough the streets of Colombo was a demonstration of their desire for peace and harmony between the ethnical groups. In the end there was a gorgeous celebration which all of them inspired.
After the Tsunami in 2004, A.G.S.E.P. was one of the first organisation which was able to help the victims directly. By means of the Peace Village International there were procured relief items shortly and given out in the disaster zones. Because of the active support of the students and volunteers and the close contact to the North, A.G.S.E.P. was able to act immediately and efficiently; without logistic and bureaucratic barriers. Besides the build up of the water supply for 15 000 habitants in the North, the medical care for more than 500 000 people was the most important thing to avoid epidemics.
3. Intercultural Children-Sport-Centre
The last project of A.G.S.E.P. was the most important because of the focus on the children of Sri Lanka. Never forget, that children are the future of the countries. But on the other hand children are the ones who suffer the most in times of need and war.
The idea of A.G.S.E.P is to build Intercultural-Sport-Centres throughout the country. One of them, the Intercultural Children-Sport-Centre in the West, in Nattandiya, was finished in 2005. At these Sport-Centres the children should get the possibility of coming closer and playing together- besides the English and German lessons. All of these Centres are equipped with sports fields, swimming pools and lots of lawns. Also from the15th to the 18th February there was already an Event which took place for the fourth time, in which children from different parts of the country came together in Nattandiya.
When all of the Children-Sports-Centres are accomplished, such events will be organized in regular and rotary cycles. The intention is to offer the children the possibility to deliver insight into other parts of the island. If the Children-Sports-Centres could be able to socialise young children from different cultures by going in for sports together and by taking away their familiarly problems for this time, A.G.S.E.P. achieved an important aim.