Sleep disorders, anxieties, social isolation. Besides physical injuries, war and violence leave invisible scars. In our project “Moving Beyond Trauma” in Kayin State, Myanmar, women develop strategies to cope with the consequences of their traumatising experiences. Through sport and play, SA4D creates a safe space, in which participants regain their self-confidence and a sense of normalcy in their everyday lives.
Ma Than Aye has participated since the project’s beginning and has never missed a training session. The 41 year old had to flee her home multiple times in her life, first because of violence, and later because of economic hardship. Kayin State is home to Myanmar’s longest-running civil war. Women in particular are suffering from the grave human rights violations against its civilian population.
THE PITCH AS A REFUGE
Ma Than Aye enjoys the group dynamics during sport sessions in our “Moving Beyond Trauma” project. “We laugh together and also talk about serious topics.” Through playful activities the women learn how to address problems and solve conflicts peacefully. These concrete experiences help them in their everyday lives. At the same time, the pitch serves as a refuge. “I am simply here and the problems at home are far away,” says Ma Than Aye. “And I have learned how to relax. That was difficult.” After the sport session, she is less stressed and daily life is easier to manage. “And that is better for all.”