FIDE Social Action Chess Commission ‘SAC’
March 24-25, 2015
New York City, USA
Core Members in Attendance:
Beatriz Marinello (USA) Chairperson
Robert Katende (Uganda) General Secretary
Paris Klerides (Cyprus) Councillor
Guy Bendana (Nicaragua) Councillor
1. Call of order
2. Approval of the agenda
3. Report from the Chairperson
4. Proposal from Cameroon
5. Proposal from Trinidad and Tobago
6. Proposal Ministry of Social Development Chile
7. Continuation of the Uganda Smart Girl Program
8. Presentation Cyprus Chess Program
9. UN Women Follow Up Report
10. Report on the First Tournament for Orphan Children in Nepal
11. Report on the Alzheimer’s and Brain Aging Report
12. Set a tentative date for next meeting
The meeting was held at the famous Marshall Chess Club in New York City. The FIDE ‘SAC’ appreciates the Marshall Chess Club’s hospitality and would like to thank it’s members for joining us for a FIDE ‘SAC’ presentation and Q & A, in conjunction with the Social Action Commission meeting in New York.
The meeting started at 10:42 am by the General Secretary, Robert Katende. Mr. Katende welcomed the members who attended the FIDE SAC’s annual meeting amidst their tight schedules.
The Chairperson, Beatriz Marinello welcomed the members and and gave a special introduction of each member, especially Paris Klerides and Guy Bendana who are new in our commission, then requested for the adoption of the agenda, which was was approved.
Beatriz, gave a brief background of the formation of the commission in Istanbul (2012), and further elaborated on the Commission’s objectives and mission. She emphasized the importance of chess as a tool for social and community improvement. She informed the members that the commission’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year is 40,000 euros. Last year, we were able to successfully run pilot projects in Uganda, Chile and Nepal, all of which are documented.
Beatriz spoke about the importance of supporting projects in areas, where positive role models are needed and when empowered, communities can demonstrate that chess can make a difference in people’s lives for the better.
A wonderful role model is the Ugandan chess player, Phiona Mutesi; a young girl who was born and grew up in extreme poverty. It is because of chess, her coach Robert Katende and the Sports Outreach Organization, that she now has a chance for a better life. She is an inspiration for millions of people across the world.
There are many others who find themselves in situations like Phiona. We are striving to make a difference using chess as a tool - the thinking game that helps build good self-esteem and character.
Beatriz reminded the members that chess is a great equalizer for social, economic, gender and racial barriers, therefore we should use it to build a better future for our children.
Beatriz presented the commission’s report and also responded to some matters that arose. One of which was, that GM Thomas Luther from Germany, a former member of the SAC commission, has left the SAC commission because he is now Chairman of the newly created FIDE Disabled Commission. Nevertheless, he still supports the Social Action Chess Commission, as we also support the new commission’s efforts. We congratulate Mr. Luther for his new post.
Procedures for Proposals and Programs:
1) Submit a proposal to the Chairperson.
2) Chairperson will review it in conjunction with the core members.
3) The SAC will document the program and evaluate for further development or modifications as needed.
Gulu, Uganda “Smart Girl Program” - The next step for 2015 is to train teachers, send more chess sets for the children to make sure that each girl in the program has a chess set. The ‘SAC’ Chair, Beatriz Marinello, will be traveling to Uganda to conduct FIDE Trainers and International Organizers Seminars. She will be visiting the villages where the “Smart Girl Project” is being conducted.
Chile: The FIDE SAC and the Ministry of Social Development has developed a joint agreement. In 2015, Chile will develop three pilot projects in the regions of Atacama, IV and Los Lagos. FIDE will be providing training for the instructors and teachers connected with the programs.
Nepal: In Nov. 2014, Nepal organized it’s First National Chess Running Shield Tournament with the support of theFIDE ‘SAC’. Nearly 200 children and teenagers residing in childcare homes (orphanages) participated in the event.
2015 SAC Annual Meeting: Proposals and Decisions
• Proposal from Cameroon — Approved
• Proposal from Trinidad & Tobago — Approved
• Proposal from Mr. Robert Katende with Sports Outreach organization - To be further developed.
• Proposal from Mr. Paris Klerides - To be further developed.
• Proposal from Dr. Guy Bendana, President Nicaraguan Chess Federation - To be further developed.
• Proposal from Panama to Work on Social Issues - To be further developed.
• Proposal from Ms. Beatriz Marinello and Mr. Michael Glassman related with Chess and Alzheimers is being developed. “Checkmating Dementia” is a new Non-Profit organization in the United States that is committed to partnering with the ‘SAC’ in issues related to brain aging, however, no financial assistance will be requested for this project.
Action Items for 2015
1) Chess equipment is still a challenge as we continue to initiate chess programs in new territories. It was decided that we would approach the Development Commission to assist us with chess equipment, if not provided, offer it to us at a subsidized price. Mr. Paris Klerides will reach out to Mr. Allan Herber, Chairman of the Development Commission to determine the possibilities of obtaining chess equipment from the Development Commission to enhance our work and support our mission.
A Tentative Date is Set for the Next SAC Meeting
It was decided that the next FIDE SAC meeting will be held in Uganda, March of 2016.
SAC Presentation at the Marshall Chess Club, New York City. On March 24, 2015 the “SAC” organized presentations and a Q & A at theMarshall Chess Club. The Presentation was well attended by members of the chess club. Beatriz Marinello began by introducing the ‘SAC’ members that were in attendance and elaborated on ‘SAC’ objectives and mission and how chess is being used as a tool for social improvement through its programs.
“Together We Can Achieve More”
The first presentation was by Mr. Paris Klerides from Cyprus. Mr. Klerides shared a video that demonstrated the social action chess program, “Together We Can Achieve More”, which he started in January 2015.
The second presentation was of the “Smart Girl Project” in Uganda, which was presented by Robert Katende andDora Leticia. Video interviews as well as photographs and stories were shared with the audience, demonstrating the work that is being carried out with the Smart Girl Program and its impact in Ugandan villages.
Dora is a documentary photographer who traveled to seven villages in the Northern part of Uganda in 2014 to document the Smart Girl Project and the lives of the families affected by this program.
She later traveled to Chile and Nepal to document the ‘SAC’ programs that took place there. Dora Leticia strongly supports the work that is being carried out by the ‘SAC’ and provided this documentary work as a volunteer.
The presentations were very captivating and inspiring. Members of the Marshall Chess Club that were in attendance, were so moved that many offered to volunteer and help in any way that they can. Many inquired as to how they could support these noble causes.
There was a great appreciation for the work that is being conducted by the FIDE Social Action Commission and its mission to use chess as a tool for a positive impact in at risk communities.
Some members volunteered to go to these areas and empower the teachers of these communities either as a coach, assistant, or in any capacity that is needed. Others pledged to donate chess materials to the ‘SAC’ in order for it to accomplish its objectives.
The new manager of the Marshall Chess Club will organize a chess drive to receive chess equipment for these programs.
As Paris Klerides said, “Together We Can Achieve More”.
GENS UNA SUMUS,
Chairperson, FIDE Social Action Commission
General Secretary, FIDE Social Action Commission