Drama and sports as a mode of therapy and awareness for youth and children refugees from the South Sudan conflict
Owing to the instability in South Sudan, many people fled their homeland and sought refuge in Adjumani in Northern Uganda.
Ayilo is one of the biggest settlements and is home to over 20,000 refugees, majority of them youth.
Many of the youth lost touch with critical support needed at a most critical stage in their lives, such as role models and socio-cultural systems. Some lost family members, friends and a good education.
ACORD in Uganda in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA are encouraging these young people to organise and participate in recreational activities through sports and drama. This is a way of therapy and passing on useful information concerning Sexual Reproductive Health and Gender Based Violence with the assistance of volunteers. This was also to keep the youth physically active and out of trouble as they learnt from each other about various issues and at the same time create useful substantial friendships.
The youth were mobilised into teams that were supplied with footballs and netballs. A drama team was also formed which performs during gatherings in the community. The drama team members come up with short plays on issues affecting them. This has served as a voice for some of them to let out issues that affect them concerning gender based violence HIV and AIDS, and sexual and reproductive health. Having been brought up in a society that normalises certain harmful practices like forced and early marriages, the youth drama team performed a play on the issue as well as on the negative effects of alcohol in relation to gender based violence. .
They have also come up with songs to pass on similar messages. , To increase sensitisation on HIV and AIDS, the group is now for example performing plays involving children who are also affected directly or indirectly by HIV and AIDS.