Sudan Displaced Drama Workshops Provide Psychological Support in Blue Nile

Ed Damazin — The Dramatists Initiative in the Blue Nile region is providing psychological support to displaced people who fled Khartoum, El Gezira, and other states in Sudan after the war broke out between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on April 15.

Mortada Yousef, head of the Blue Nile region* Dramatists Syndicate, told Radio Dabanga from the capital Ed Damazin that several initiatives provide aid to the displaced in the area. They need support from local, regional, and international organisations to continue their work.

The Dramatists Syndicate initiative provides workshops and activities inside the shelter centres for the displaced. This includes drama, poetry, and music shows. The initiative is run by local and displaced dramatists, musicians, artists, and other creative people who fled to Ed Damazin, Yousef said.

Children from 7 to 14 years old participate in drama workshops at the Youth Centre of El Roseires, neighbouring Ed Damazin, and other activities such as music, drawing, and sports. There is an open day every week to connect families with the youth centre.

“These activities have a great psychological impact on the displaced people,” Yousef said. “They began to feel more relaxed and can become a part of the society here. Instead of remaining in the shelter centres, many join us at the youth centres in the town and participate in our activities.”

On January 10, Emergency Room member Esra Mohamed El Khair called upon humanitarian organisations to urgently provide relief for families displaced to Ed Damazin.

Despite harsh conditions, humanitarian organisations, the Ministry of Social Welfare, and the Humanitarian Aid Commission have not yet intervened, “leaving vulnerable individuals, particularly children and those with chronic diseases, in dire straits”, according to the Ed Damazin Emergency Room member at the time.

The total number of displaced and refugees at 10.7 million since the war broke out in April according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), making Sudan the largest internal displacement crisis globally, reported the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on February 4.

* On August 8, 2022, the governor of Blue Nile state issued several decrees, based on the October 2020 Juba Peace Agreement (JPA), by which the state became a ‘region’ and its seven localities (Ed Damazin, El Roseires, Wad El Mahi, Bau, Geisan, El Tadamon, and El Kurmuk) became ‘governorates’. According to International IDEA, the JPA protocol concerning Blue Nile and [South and West] Kordofan grants autonomy to these areas but does not stipulate they should become a region.

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