Young basketball players supported by Shooting tough in the three sectors of Kayonza district, namely Nyamirama, Rwinkwavu and Rukara, last Friday they made an incredible presentation showing the good times they had and the impact made to their lives during these trainings on both basketball and mental health services. This is to say they were focused on mental health wellbeing and its services through arts-based healing, while being coached in the basketball match at once. This has brought many youth together in competition held at the Nyamirama playground from different sectors where the project is being implemented. it was planned that one group of Nyamirama will showcase what they have learned and benefited from the mental health club sessions as well as doing mobilization on mental health awareness.
These young people showed their presentations through songs, traditional dance, small sketches and testimonies of their achievements to each other, the youth whom they live together in the groups but come from different sectors of implemented. Being in those sessions we gained more than expected and Uyisenga Ni Imanzi played a very important role in teaching us about mental health wellbeing that reflects in good thoughts, good behaviors and good practices which changed our lives in right directions.
After the basketball competition, their presentation included testimonies, changes brought by participating in clubs, and a message basically calling others to come to the mental health clubs, so that they may be helped and have mental health wellness. This was also to remind parents that their responsibility towards their children is to care and show them love than anything else, they said that apart from knowing that sports are not only fun but should also bring them happiness as far as art based therapy is concerned, Thereafter they donated clothes they collected to help their friends, outreach to them and show them love as the main goal of the competition.
One of the testimonies given by 3 children stated that these sessions helped them to get rid of their shy and timid to be able to speak in public and change their behaviors at home and in the community. They showed forth some of their friends who gave up on drugs because they have been approached, taken care of and taught them the side effects of drugs and change their direction. Additionally, they showed forward their friend too whom they helped to reconcile with his parents and reconnect with his family because he had abandoned them due to the injuries they caused him and now they are all living in peace.
They ended by thanking the Uyisenga Ni Imanzi for bringing this model of arts based healing through mental health clubs to youth basketball players because it helped them reach where they had never imagined, and that a person cannot play without happiness when their mental health is not safe and they aim to change many young people where they live and study from.