Reduces Loneliness

Sport programmes for survivors of GBV in conflict/post-conflict areas can provide critical opportunities for social support that can reduce loneliness and help relieve stresses and anxiety in their lives. Many of the girls and women interviewed for this guide reported feeling ostracised and stigmatised by their experiences of GBV. This in turn made them feel excluded and lonely.

Participation in sport can help to relieve loneliness as girls and women cultivate new friendships. Joining a sports team allows participants to feel connected with others. Team sports, in particular, offer opportunities for affiliation, supportive networks, turn-taking, and leadership possibilities. Sports such as volleyball, basketball, soccer, and tennis are all fun and help relieve loneliness by making you work with others to achieve a common goal. The camaraderie and joking can help with psyche control, creating an avenue for forgetting and ignoring the problem of GBV. Regular training is something survivors of GBV can look forward to.

Programmatic Tip

Inclusion is an important factor to embrace when addressing loneliness. Coaches/directors are advised to recognise the importance of social exclusion and constantly encourage diversity. Exercise zero tolerance for any divisive forces that may accelerate feelings of exclusion. Subdue any discriminatory behaviour such as cliques or elitism.

Programmatic Tip

Integration, as a whole, is an essential factor in the delivery of GBV-specific sport programmes. Everyone can become part of the team no matter what the affliction. Integrate girls and women who have experienced GBV into social settings with those who have not. Those who have not been violated can help survivors and vice versa. They can help strengthen each other, learn compassion, and sympathize with each other. This method is especially successful when survivors of GBV infected with HIV/AIDS are fully integrated into groups with non-sufferers.

Organisations also recommended that girls and women with HIV/AIDS address new team members, showing them that they lead normal lives and highlighting that there is a bright future ahead of them.