FIDE Social Action Commission
Minutes for the Meeting
September 5, 2015
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Minutes of Meeting Held in New York in March
Report from the Chairperson
Updates and Presentation
Questions and Responses
Next Commission Meeting / March 20 – 27 2016 Tentative
- Beatriz Marinello (USA) Chairperson
- Robert Katende (Uganda) General Secretary
- Paris Klerides (Cyprus) Councillor
- Thomas Luther (Germany) Chairman FIDE Chess for Disabled Commission
- Patrick Van Hodandt (Aidef & Monaco)
- Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria) Former Women’s World Champion
- Chanda Nsakanya (Zambia)
- Kevin O’connell (Ireland) Chairman FIDE Chess in the Schools Commission
- Stuart Reuben (England)
The meeting started at 3:05pm, Sept. 5, 2015 chaired by Beatriz Marinello. Beatriz requested that the members stand and observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the 45 United Arab Emirates soldiers killed in Yemen; this moment of silence was a requirement by FIDE.
Beatriz went on and introduced the Commission Members that were present and those who were not in attendance at the Abu Dhabi meeting.
The March 2015 Social Action Report and Minutes from the meeting that was held in New York City was shared via a slideshow presentation on a projected screen.
There was a presentation of the projects that the Social Action Commission supports with interviews from the local Federation officials that shared their thoughts on how the programs have greatly helped to bridge the social gap in the communities where the projects were started.
An extensive report from Uganda was shared; this was made possible through the outstanding work done by Dora Leticia, the documentary photographer and filmmaker who volunteered to go to Africa and reach Uganda to document and collect this data to share it FIDE and global communities.
Robert Katende also added to the presentation by sharing first hand knowledge of how the programs started. He explained that they have not only introduced and increased the number of chess players, but, the programs have also helped restore hope within the communities targeted and bridged social gaps within these underprivileged communities.
The Social Action Commission also supports the “Smart Girl Project” pilot program aka “La Nina Intelligente”, its spanish name, in Chile. Dora also traveled to Chile to document the “Smart Girl Project” programs that were taking place there. In cases where children have been abused, using chess as a platform in the “Smart Girl Project” programs help to restore their self-esteem.
The Chilean government has embraced the programs the Social Action Commission supports through Beatriz’s good working relationship and and support from Chilean government officials.
An agreement was signed between the Chilean Government and the FIDE Social Action Commission in efforts to establish programs across the country; this is made possible with Chilean government funding. Right now, efforts are geared towards enhancing the capacity of chess professionals by certifying instructors. This will ensure that qualified instructors provide instruction within these programs for children at-risk. This is an example of how FIDE Trainer Seminars take part in making a difference within at-risk communities. The Chilean government requires that all trainers be certified by FIDE.
Paris Klerides also made a presentation about the social chess program that he leads in Cyprus, which was started at the beginning of 2014. He also called on every one to join this noble cause because – “Together We Can Do More!”; this is the motto for his program, a great one indeed.
The meeting was opened for comments and questions from the members. Mr. Chanda Nsakanya from Zambia, shared that he had been greatly inspired by the work of the Social Action Commission and he requested that similar programs be started in his country as well.
Mr. Patrick Van Hodandt also appreciated the work done by the Social Action Commission and proposed that these programs should be started in Haiti as well. He noted that even though the language there is French, he would volunteer to accompany the team to provide translation. He also shared the idea of having paper chess boards that may be more affordable.
Mr. Kevin O’connell, also added that there are printable materials at the Chess In the Schools website. You can find chess pieces that could easily be printed. Chess students can then engage in cutting the printed chess pieces and gluing them to a thicker cardboard paper which can then be used for playing.
GM Thomas Luther commented that it is a good thing when people attend meetings in person because this provides an opportunity to share experiences and great ideas.
GM Stefanova commented that the Women’s Commission needs to work in partnership with the Social Action Commission, especially in reaching out to the African continent.
The next Social Action Commission meeting is to be held in Uganda in March 2016; the tentative dates are 20th – 27th March 2016.
This will be the first time a FIDE Commission meeting is held in Africa. This might attract other commission friends like GM Thomas to join us on the trip to Uganda and conduct trainings that can greatly serve the communities.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:48 pm, Sept. 5, 2015.
WIM Beatriz Marinello, Chairperson
Mr. Robert Katende, Secretary