A local sporting company, Sport Management Agency (SMA) has on Thursday 9th December launched a Safeguarding programme at Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone. The programme is expected to run from November 2021 – November 2022.
The launch comes on the 15th day of the 16 days of activism against GBV under the global theme “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”
When launching the programme, the SMA Director Game Mothibi said, “SMA is complementing the work that has been done by sportspeople to address GBV, sexual harassment and assault, and all other related non-accidental harm, by launching the safeguarding in the sports program at the time when the world is alive to issues affecting women and girls in sport and how sport can be unsafe for their full participation. The programme will run from November 2021 to November 2022, with the possibility of continuation, should SMA secure more funding and or partners”.
Safeguarding refers to the actions taken to promote the well-being of children, youth, and vulnerable adults to ensure they are safe from harm. It involves proactively doing everything possible to minimize the risks inherent to these environments and prevent all forms of harassment, abuse, neglect, or exploitation while ensuring that children, youth, and adults can participate in sport in a safe environment that promotes enjoyment
Sportspeople who may be more vulnerable to abuse and harm in sport include: Children and young people, Women and girls, Young adults, Talented athletes, Persons with mental health problems, Persons with an intellectual disability, Elderly persons, Persons with a physical disability, Persons living with HIV and AIDS, Persons living in poverty, Persons with special needs, Persons with different sexual orientation
“Furthermore, SMA and Mentorship and Empowerment Program for Young Women (MEMPROW) Uganda secured sponsorship of $10 000 for 1 year from Africa Women’s Development Fund. The funds are meant to cover the following; Advocacy: engagements which will involve Stakeholder and Partnership Assessment meeting and Developing communication materials advocating for safeguarding and inclusion of females as well as Media Advocacy for safeguarding. Skilling and Empowerment Sessions involving Conducting Social Survival Skills (including SRHR) and Safeguarding training for 50 girls in elite sport, Creating safeguarding teams to prevent and respond to violence: This will be done through creating and ensuring active Gender-Based Violence response teams and referral networks for reporting and referring cases of abuse in sports; Developing, testing, popularizing, and disseminating safety tools tailored for use by Sport Agencies- (code of conduct and athletes safeguarding toolkit, reporting app), Institutional Strengthening Activities: including Baseline survey
In closing, SMA has identified the following organisation as key potential stakeholders in this program which are Men and Boys for Gender equality, Botswana centre for GBV, Gender Affairs Department, MYSC, BNSC, BNOC and UNICEF.
The beneficiaries of the programme will include WASBO, Nationa Sports Association (Basketball, Netball, Athletics, Judo, Volleyball, BISA, BOTESSA, Football, Table Tennis, Karate, and boxing, Tennis) whilst the Outcomes Baseline data of safety issues in sport in Botswana, Reporting and referral systems, Safeguarding working groups, Safeguarding focal points, Athletes Safeguarding toolkit, Implementation of AUSC’s safeguarding in sport and sport for development (S4D) contexts in Africa, Open discussions on different topics of abuse, harassment and safeguarding in sport and Trained coaches and officials in meeting duty of care and as facilitators