African Missions Global has asked government to used Sports as important tool for keeping internally displaced persons (IDPs) engaged and healing them of trauma.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the inaugural sports festival organized by the group for internally displaced persons camps in Maiduguri, the Northeast coordinator Dr. Sesan Akinnawo, tasked the government to employ the avenue of sports in occupying the minds and strength of the youths living in the camps.
He said the Borno State Government particularly should continue to engage IDPs living in the state in sports and other vocational activities that would help them forget their worries.
Akinnawo said it was imperative to keep the minds and bodies of IDPs, whose majority had been traumatized by their experiences from Boko Haram, occupied with sports.
He noted that this would go a long way in healing the wounds and keep them in proper shape.
Akinnawo lamented that most of the IDPs had been traumatized by a decade long insurgency causing many to be displaced from their ancestoral homes, and their condition had not been made better since they spent the whole day doing nothing while in the camp.
He decried that this had not assisted them to heal from their traumatic experiences, urging governments to take sports to the camps.
Akinnawo said African Missions Global saw that apart from making relief materials available for the IDPs, there was the need to preoccupy them with activities that we make them to be lively and forget their past in order for them to heal of trauma.
He said this would also mitigate against youth restiveness and other social vices among the IDPs.
“We must continue to have faith in the youths and that is why we engaged them and organized the Sports Festival.
“The IDPs needs to be cared for as they are worst hit by insurgency. We in African Missions Global would continue in this direction to ensure that the IDPs are given a sense of belonging.
“I will urge the state government to continue to intensify efforts to take the IDPs back to their places of abode,” Akinnawo said.
He promised that the Sports Festival would continue to be organized by AMG annually, even as more camps in the state would be allowed to participate.
The competition was organized among eight camps in Maiduguri including Teacher’s Village, NYSC, CAN Centre, Dalori, Gubio, LCC Shuwari and Stadium.
Events competed for include football, volleyball, basketball, table tennis and athletics, among others.