The escalation of the conflict in South Sudan, combined with drought and famine, has forced many people to flee. In the refugee camps in northern Uganda, women and children in particular are in need of psychosocial support.

The majority of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are women and children. Many of them are traumatised – also because of experiences they had during their escape – and need help to overcome their trauma.

This project is based on SAD’s Women on the Move programme in South Sudan. It responds to the need of these refugee women and children, who have escaping the civil war in South Sudan, and enables them to cope with trauma more effectively.

It supports refugees in restoring a sense of normalcy. Jennifer, a 53-year-old refugee, says: “The project helps me feel better. It gives me hope and the other participants provide support and trust. After the sport and play-based activities, I feel less stressed”.

Psychosocial support through sport and play

SAD and the Community Psychosocial Support Organisation (CPSO) work hand in hand to relieve refugees from trauma and improve their psychosocial wellbeing. Through sport and play activities, SAD and CPSO aim to create safe spaces where women and children feel comfortable to talk about their traumatic experiences, and are listened to and supported. During these entertaining sessions, the refugees can relax, put their worries aside, rebuild their self-confidence and foster social cohesion.

Women can provide for themselves and their families

By improving their resilience and coping strategies, we also help them get on with their daily lives and deal with everyday activities. Women aren’t restricted by stress and anxiety: they can concentrate on their tasks and have the strength to complete them. They are also encouraged to participate in livelihood activities in order to increase their income.