The project “Assurer la formation des formateurs sur l’approche NET dans la prise en charge en santé mentale des surviviants des VSBG” is a two-year project in the region of North and South Kivu, which is part of a four-year large-scale project. The aim of the intervention is to train psychologists in narrative exposure therapy (NET) and to build a sustainable structure to treat victims of sexual gender based violence and to strengthen the health system of the region. This is vivo’s greatest project so far in this region.
The foundations for the project were already laid in July 2015, when vivo members participated in a one-week workshop in Goma and Bukavu, together with representatives of the World Bank, the Social Fund of the DR Congo (Fonds Social de la République Democratique de Congo; FSRDC), national non-governmental organizations and employees of John Hopkins University. On the basis of the findings of the workshop, the contract for the current project was signed in June 2016 between FSRDC and vivo international.
The project preparations were already started months in advance. The challenge for vivo international was to create an organizational structure that is able to manage and administer a project of this size and duration.
In July 2016, the first vivo employees traveled to Goma to build the local infrastructure. Office rooms and a residential house were rented, contacts with potential cooperation partners were made, local project workers were hired, and local diagnostic interviewers were interviewed and recruited to work in the intervention zones. Since September, the project manager is on site and the team is complete.
In August 2016, twenty local psychologists were trained as diagnostic interviewers in a three-week training course. The training included theoretical teaching units, group work and role plays; international experts educated participants concerning the concepts of posttraumatic stress disorder and comorbid disorders, familiarized them with the relevant diagnostic tools, and trained them in the most important interview techniques.
In October 2016, 15 local psychologists participated in a three-week NET training course in Goma. International experts provided the participants with the theoretical basis for the concept of posttraumatic stress disorder and trained them by means of lectures, group work and role plays in the exercise of NET. After completion of the training 6 of the participants started working as counselors for vivo international. The first therapies with women who had experienced sexual violence have already begun, and are closely supervised by vivo international experts who are permanently on site.
Parallel to the NET training course, a three-week FORNET training course took place in Goma in October 2016, attended by 16 local counselors. International experts provided participants with the theoretical basis for the concept of posttraumatic stress disorder as well as (appetitive) aggression and trained them on the basis of lectures, group work and role plays in the exercise of FORNET. After completion of the training, 4 of the participants began to work as local counselors for vivo international. The first therapies with former child soldiers have already begun and are also supervised closely by vivo members who are permanently on site.