Social Inclusion: Empowering Individuals through Capacity Building


Social Inclusion: Empowering Individuals through Capacity Building

13 June 2024

TAFISA is collaborating with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through its Olympism365 strategy to initiate a global framework dedicated to fostering community empowerment and development through capacity building in Sport for All, known as SUCCEED (Supporting Communities Empowerment & Development through Sport for All). SUCCEED aims to provide a unified and synergistic approach towards building the capacity of Sport for All stakeholders, promoting solidarity, safeguarding, equality, inclusion, human rights, and sustainable progress in and through sport within communities globally.

The SUCCEED series will highlight inspiring stories of individuals and communities positively impacted by training and capacity building provided within the SUCCEED framework. Through these narratives, we aim to showcase the transformative power of capacity building in sports, emphasizing how it fosters inclusivity, empowers marginalized groups, and strengthens community resilience.

Creating Opportunities for People with Albinism to Overcome Challenges to Play Sports and Participate in Community Life.

Prejudice, erroneous beliefs, myths, and stereotypes put the safety and lives of persons with albinism in Zimbabwe at constant risk. The inspiring story of Masimba Mutemaringa from Zimbabwe, a TAFISA Certified Leadership Course (CLC) alumni, highlights how Sport for All capacity building, facilitated through the CLC and integrated into the SUCCEED framework, can bring about significant social change and empowerment. His first social inclusion project aimed to change this harsh reality by raising awareness, educating, and empowering people with albinism through Sport for All.

Masimba’s Journey

Masimba Mutemaringa, 37, was born in Mutemaringa Village in the Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe. He enjoyed a healthy childhood, surrounded by a rich cultural heritage, wild nature, and a sport-enthusiastic community. Playing sports was not easy for him due to a lack of resources and suitable places to play but with creativity and the help of his friends, they explored the wild landscape of Mutoko to play what he calls "social football" and other games.

This early love for sports was not shared by everyone in his community, particularly those with albinism who were often excluded and isolated. It was during his bachelor's degree studies that Masimba began to understand the struggles marginalized groups have in participating in sports and community activities and the importance of inclusion and diversity. He paid special attention to people with albinism, recognizing that the rates of albinism are particularly high in Zimbabwe.

"Growing up, I saw how sports brought people together, but it also highlighted the exclusion of those with albinism. It was painful to see my friends enjoy the game while others were left out."

Witnessing the prejudice against individuals with albinism deeply impacted Masimba. He noticed how people with albinism were kept indoors, either hidden from society to protect them from daily ridicule and abuse or shielded from the scorching sun. This exclusion from community activities, including sports, was troubling for Masimba.


"Seeing people with albinism isolated, I felt a deep sense of injustice.
I knew I had to do something to change this reality."

Determined to support and empower marginalized groups, Masimba pursued a career that would allow him to make a difference. This commitment led him to his current role as a Sport and Recreation Officer in the Ministry of Sport and Recreation in Zimbabwe. Since 2016, he has been developing and implementing policies to promote sport and physical activity for all.

Empowerment through CLC

Masimba's participation in the TAFISA Certified Leadership Course (CLC) was a turning point in his career. The program broadened his understanding of Sport for All and social inclusion, revealing the vast potential for creating opportunities for marginalized and minority groups to engage in sports. The CLC equipped him with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to advocate for the rights and inclusion of people with albinism in sports and community life.

"The CLC opened my eyes to the power of Sport for All in driving social change. The Marketing and Branding module, in particular, gave me the tools to promote the event and reach wider group in the community."

Empowered by the CLCs, Masimba embarked on a mission to raise awareness, educate, and empower people in his community, using sport as a tool for social change.

Advocating for Inclusion

With the knowledge gained from the CLC, Masimba developed his first project aimed at raising awareness and promoting inclusivity in sport. His project focused on capacity building for people with albinism, driven by the need to encourage their participation in sport and physical activity, remove obstacles, provide health education, and challenge stereotypes to ensure everyone had the opportunity to engage in sports and lead active, healthy lives. However, the implementation of his project to empower people with albinism was not without challenges.

Limited resources prevented him from reaching all communities, so he decided to target Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, where he is based. Even focusing on Harare presented significant challenges as reaching and communicating with those with albinism was very difficult. Due to stereotyping, abuse, and religious rituals, many individuals with albinism choose or are forced to isolate themselves from society. A lack of education and harmful religious beliefs further threaten the lives and health of people with albinism in communities.

"It was incredibly challenging to reach out to people with albinism. Many of them live in isolation due to fear and prejudice."

Despite these challenges, Masimba persevered. He described the difficulties in gathering many people with albinism together and the logistical challenges involved. The workshop aimed to empower people with albinism with information on the significance of participating in physical activity, which was crucial in overcoming barriers during the project's implementation.

"The workshop was a significant step forward. Seeing participants gain confidence and feel included was a powerful moment for me."

Masimba workshop

The response to the workshop was a success, with 20 participants with albinism attending. Senior officials from the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, the Sports and Recreation Commission, and the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee also participated, alongside journalists from various media houses including the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Sunday Mail, The Herald, and independent media. The presence of media amplified the impact of the workshop, raising public awareness and fostering a broader dialogue about inclusivity and the challenges faced by people with albinism.

The positive impact was evident as participants expressed increased confidence and a greater sense of inclusion in their communities. The workshop not only provided valuable information and resources but also fostered a supportive community for people with albinism.

Next Steps for Masimba and His Project

Following the success of his initial workshop, Masimba plans to expand his project by organizing more workshops and events to reach a wider audience outside his community. He aims to collaborate with local and international organizations to secure additional resources and support. Masimba is also exploring opportunities to develop long-term programs that provide continuous empowerment for people with albinism, ensuring lasting change and inclusion in sports and community life.

"This is just the beginning. I envision a future where people with albinism are fully included and active in all aspects of community life."

Strengthening Communities: The Transformative Power of Capacity Building

Capacity building is crucial in the Sport for All movement. By enhancing the skills and knowledge of individuals like Masimba, we can ensure sustainable development and the creation of inclusive opportunities for all.

"Capacity building is essential. It equips individuals with the tools they need to make a real difference in their communities."

For Masimba, the training he received through the TAFISA Certified Leadership Course (CLC) was transformative. It not only provided him with theoretical knowledge but also practical skills that he could apply directly to his work. He was also able to network with other leaders, share experiences, and gain new perspectives. This support network is invaluable for sustaining motivation and driving long-term change. Furthermore, capacity building helped him to dismantle barriers to inclusion by educating community members, debunking myths, and promoting positive attitudes towards marginalized groups.

The impact of capacity building extends beyond individual empowerment. It strengthens community cohesion and resilience by ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background or abilities, has the opportunity to participate in sports and lead an active, healthy life. By equipping leaders like Masimba with the skills to promote inclusion and equality, we can create a ripple effect that benefits entire communities.

Supporting Community Empowerment and Development Through Sport for All - SUCCEED


To further strengthen and scale these stories of empowerment and the transformative impact of capacity building, we have partnered with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) through its Olympism365 strategy to launch SUCCEED. SUCCEED is a global framework dedicated to fostering community empowerment and development through capacity building in Sport for All.

At its core, SUCCEED is committed to capacity building approaches that promote solidarity, safeguarding, equality, inclusion, human rights, and sustainable progress in and through sport within communities globally. By integrating the TAFISA Certified Leadership Course (CLC) into the SUCCEED framework and through strategic collaboration with various sports and non-profit organisations that supports concerted efforts, SUCCEED aims to scale the reach and impact of Sport for All capacity building initiatives. This will contribute to a lasting positive impact in communities through sport, fostering social cohesion, health, and well-being across diverse cultural and socioeconomic landscapes.