Economic Empowerment and Resiliency
Often, resilience has a powerful financial component. In several programmes, income-generating activities operate alongside sport programmes. Providing vulnerable women and girls with the necessary livelihood skills through sport programmes may ensure that they do not resort to destructive coping mechanisms such as transactional sex. This could lead to increased GBV. Economically empowering survivors of GBV promotes dignity and strengthens self-protection mechanisms.
It is important to note that programmes aimed at empowering women through income generation, education, and microcredit should evaluate whether they are doing enough to minimize the risk that participants may experience a violent backlash by male partners.
What is Resiliency?
“Resiliency can be described as an inner strength, responsiveness, and flexibility that some individuals have more than others.” It helps survivors of GBV withstand stress and trauma completely or helps them to recover quickly after a traumatic event. Evidence suggests that sport can access and activate an innate resilience that helps to protect, strengthen, and heal people in times of extreme stress. “This potential for transformation and growth forged in the cauldron of tragedy distinguishes the concept of resilience from coping and adaptation…resilience entails more than shouldering a burden, surviving an ordeal, or adjusting sights downward with limitations and losses. A crisis can be a wake-up call, an epiphany to reshape priorities for more meaningful lives, to construct fuller, richer relationships, to repair broken bonds, and to gain compassion for the suffering and struggles of others.”
AKWOS-sponsored programmes in Save have started a savings scheme. Every woman brings 100francs every week to training. This is cash-piled and allows them to organise entertainment days and community events that promote unity. It also enables participants to feel independent, promotes unity within the team, and enhances autonomy as each player is making a contribution to the programme. Why not encourage the girls and women within your programme to do the same?
R. Henley, Helping Children Overcome Disaster Trauma Through Post-Emergency Psychosocial Sports Programs, Swiss Academy for Development, 2005, p14
Ibid at 5
Froma, Walsh. Crisis, Trauma, and Challenge: A Relational Resilience Approach for Healing, Transformation and Growth. 2003, Smith College Studies in Social Work 74(1).