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Providing trauma counselling and trauma counselling training for South Sudanese refugees
“The first challenge we face here as pastors is how to counsel the traumatised people while we are also traumatised, so we need special training as leaders on counselling.”
In August/September 2018, an INcontext team returned to Uganda to do further trauma counselling training with South Sudanese refugees, including pastors and teachers.
While the world’s media attention is focused primarily on the wars in Syria, other parts of the world are locked in conflict as well. One of these conflicts is in South Sudan. The civil war started in December 2013 after a fallout between President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar, which caused Machar to resign and lead rebel forces against Kiir’s government.
According to the United Nations, there are currently more than 1.9 million South Sudanese refugees, and more than one million of them are living in Uganda. Most of these refugees live in camps in the north of Uganda, close to the South Sudan border. The director of INcontext’s East Africa office visited some of these camps during March 2017 to see for himself what the situation is like. During this visit, he asked a pastor about the challenges they are facing, and the prayer needs he has. He responded as follows: “The first challenge we face here as pastors is not knowing how to counsel the traumatised people while we are also traumatised, so we need special training as leaders on counselling.”
In response to this request, INcontext launched Project Restoration to provide trauma counselling and trauma counselling training to South Sudanese refugees. Over 30 pastors from three refugee camps were invited to attend a 5-day training course at a centralised point close to the refugee camps from 7-11 August 2017. First, they received counselling for their own trauma, and thereafter, they were trained to do trauma counselling with their congregation members.
From 27 August to 7 September 2018 the second round of training was done with 10 of the original 30 pastors that were trained in August 2017. This second round of training was done to better equip the pastors as trauma counsellors. In addition to this, 23 children’s workers were also trained, and the 10 pastors helped facilitate the training. The training was a huge success and we are grateful to everyone who contributed towards this training. In 2019 there will be a 3rd follow-up session where the 10 pastors will get their final training in order to become accredited trauma counselling trainers themselves that will enable them to train other people to do trauma counselling as well.
(Dates have not yet been set for the 3rd follow-up session)
Any contribution will be much appreciated and will ensure that this trauma counselling project is realised. To make a donation, please use the INcontext account.
South African bank details:
Bank: ABSA (cheque account)
Branch: 632005 (Durbanville)
Account name: INcontext
Number: 407 898 3933
As reference, please use Rest + your initials and surname.
Should you have any further questions regarding this project, please contact Gustav Krös