TT for New Life: Using Table Tennis in Addiction Treatment

Naulo Ghumti Nepal, one of the recipients of the Dream Building Fund powered by GSD, aims to assist members of the rehabilitation centre in their social re-integration along with their substance abuse recovery. The three-year project targets both individual change through self-awareness and empowerment, while bolstering community acceptance of the centre through sport.

Pokhara is the second largest city of Nepal, located in the centre of the country. On the shore of Phewa Lake, the city is situated in the titular Pokhara valley, the second largest valley in country, which lies in the Himalaya Mountain Range.

Naulo Ghumti Nepal works to assist those afflicted with HIV/AIDS in Nepal and rising drug use that began trending upward in the mid-1990s. The NGO works to help stem the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, while also supporting rehabilitated drug users to reintegrate back into society, while combatting the stigma that these communities face.

As part of its Dream Building Fund grant, Naulo Ghumti Nepal is introducing table tennis to its rehabilitation centres in the following ways:

  1. Orientation to rehabilitation staff/workers on sports-assisted drug & alcohol rehabilitation

  2. On-site coaching of rehabilitation staff/workers on table tennis by professional table tennis coach

  3. Regular sessions to use table tennis for improved recovery

  4. Workshop for Sports-assisted Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Guideline Formation

  5. Regular stakeholder coordination with rehabilitation centres, local table tennis association and local government

  6. Annual Inter-Rehabilitation Centre Table Tennis Competition

TT for New Life aims to reach 120 individuals in the rehabilitation centres, with a broader mandate to reach greater acceptance for sports-based methods towards treatment in improving society. Overall, the project intends to contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goal 3, Target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic abuse and harmful use of alcohol.

So far, 49 patients have benefitted from the programme in its first year, a nearly 41 percent achievement rate of the overall goal. Naulo Ghumti Nepal says that the project has influenced both the centre’s patients, but also how the NGO has adopted its practices to the current times. The organisation has started adopting a “Halfway House” approach to follow up with patients that leave the centre but are not yet ready to be fully reintegrated into society.

Over the next quarter Naulo Ghumti Nepal hopes to purchase a new table tennis table, while ensuring patients receive coaching from a table tennis professional. The adoption of a table tennis manual for rehab is ongoing, as is the creation of a table tennis tournament for the different rehabilitation centres the NGO works with.

We look forward to seeing what comes next for the project as it grows and the lives reached through its efforts.

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