First Social Commission Meeting in Cuba Print
Thursday, 23 May 2019 11:46
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The first FIDE Social Commission meeting was held at Tryp Habana Libre Hotel, in Havana (Cuba) on 11th of May 2019, during the Capablanca Memorial Festival. The Secretary of FIDE Planning and Development Commission, Sonja Johnson, also attended the meeting as an advisor.  We warmly thank the President of the Chess Federation of Cuba, Mr. Carlos Rivero, for the warm hospitality and comforts that he provided the members throughout their stay.

Attendees:

Pablo Zarnicki (ARG), Chairman
Philippe Chatelain (HAI), Councilor
Paris Klerides (CYP), Secretary
Sonja Johnson (TTO), PDC Secretary/Advisor

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The meeting was preceded by two online conferences which were held in January and March 2019. There were several clarifications and answers to members' questions and a discussion about old projects. The guidelines from the outset were discussed too. Some points concerned the internal functioning of the committee and other points related to how SOC communicates with society. Everyone was asked to work on ideas concerning new projects and the goals and objectives of the commission were set accordingly.

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The FIDE Social Commission ‘‘SOC’’ is dedicated to using chess as a tool for social development. SOC advocates for the use of chess as a tool for social change through action as:

•   An equalizer for gender, social and economic development. 

•   For life skills, ethics, good character development, and empowerment.

•   A tool to reach out to children-at-risk including those in impoverished communities, refugee camps and those in prisons.

•   To work with organizations that aim to combat problems connected to memory loss and aging.

Additionally, SOC will support programs that have a positive impact on many lives. Using chess as a platform to empower teachers in communities, as well as providing the support that will help children to develop life skills and promote positive social development. The key is to prepare programs, training, and opportunities that empower the people that are using chess as a tool for social development within their bases, whether they are teachers, instructors, and/or social workers.

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Providing access to FIDE seminars is a key component to empowering chess promoters and players so they acquire the expertise to build chess in their countries. SOC seeks to strengthen the social fabric of communities for encounter through chess that can strengthen the dialogue between generations.

Chess is an amazing game and tool with the power to transform lives!

Our Vision: Enabling the less privileged in society to realize their full potential in life.

Our Mission: To inspire and transform lives by empowering others.

Our Values: Compassion, Selfless service, Integrity, Accountability and Equal opportunities for all.

SOC will be cooperating with FIDE member federations in order to achieve its goals.

Initial projects were put forward as follows: Chess in prisons and chess in Shelters. SOC will also work with projects in other areas. Another main objective is to preserve the institution of the family. The children will be given the opportunity to involve themselves in an activity, which will be beneficial to both themselves as well as their community, keeping them away from electronic games, computers, Facebook and other such modern brain draining activities. Chess is a great ‘exit’ from all this. Studies that have been carried out in many countries have shown that the systematic study of chess leads to personal improvement and increase in achieving the academic as well as educational targets of the children.

SOC will soon have its own webpage where all activities information will be posted.

The meeting followed a meeting with several federations’ presidents of Latin American. We announced the decisions of our meeting as well as the objectives of the FIDE Social Commission. FIDE Executive Director, Mr. Victor Bologan, also attended the meeting. This was followed by a debate with an exchange of views on various issues.

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[Members of the COS with Carlos Rivero, President of Cuban Chess Federation and Victor Bologan, FIDE Executive Director.]
 
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