Catholic Entity Using Sports to Address Trauma among Youth in South Sudan

Credit: Shalom Christian Organization

Shalom Christian Organization, a Catholic entity in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio is using sports to address trauma among young people in South Sudan.

In an interview with ACI Africa, the Directress of the entity that advocates for peace, solidarity, social justice and holistic human development for victims of conflicts in South Sudan gave details about the initiative.

Making reference to the youth, Josephine Joseph said, “We gather them together and organize games such as football and volleyball tournaments for them to be around the church, which will help them, especially those who are traumatized from the conflict to be healed.”

“We are also dealing with the vulnerable youth by giving them training in different fields such as leadership and health,” Mrs. Josephine told ACI Africa during the Wednesday, June 8 interview.

The sports, she said, are meant to help the youth “become good citizens because the conflict has more impact on the children and young people as they grow up.”


“There is also a group of youth we formed that brings the other youth together to plan for the training and workshops and other skills,” Mrs. Josephine further said, and added, “We have supported over one hundred young people and more than twenty children.”

The initiative goes beyond the youth and sports. “We are not only supporting youth but also the internally Displaced Persons who fled the conflict in Tombura with items and non-food items, and agricultural tools,” she said, making reference to IDPs in Western Equatoria State.

“(The) situation of the IDPs especially young people and women is really bad because they need more assistance since what we are giving them is not enough,” Mrs. Josephine said.

Considering that “the region is very big and many people are in need” the Directress of Shalom Christian Organization said the entity is “calling on partners to support us because we are lacking the funds to help these vulnerable people.”

“We are planning to open a new school for children because the number is very big among the IDPs who came from Tambura,” she said, adding that the school will need to have more classrooms within the church premises to cater for the many children.

More in Africa

Last month, an official of the Compassionate and Humanity Organization (CHO) of Tombura-Yambio Diocese told ACI Africa that IDPs fleeing violence in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State needed more assistance. 

“We call upon partners to continue supporting us so that we can be able to support people with disabilities, orphans, and IDPs but we are not able to do it,” Simon Banzenze said during the May 10 interview. 

Apart from “food and non-food items”, the IDPs in Western Equatoria State “also need tools because some of them lobbied around for some land and they got it,” Mr. Banzenze told ACI Africa.

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.