Since 2011 vivo international has been working on behalf of the World Bank Group with the Peace Mission of the United Nations in the eastern DR Congo (MONUSCO). The goal of this collaboration has been to provide psychological support to former combatants in order to support demobilization and reintegration efforts in the region.
vivo conducted a project aimed at addressing the mental health of former combatants and the background of gender-based violence and sexual violence (find the report here). Psychological support for former combatants, often severely burdened by their experiences, has been neglected up until this point.
In the following project, 17 Congolese MONUSCO employees were trained in NET and FORNET (Narrative Exposure Therapy and Forensic Offender Rehabilitation).
Following the training, these employees were able to provide therapy independently while receiving supportive supervision. In the next phase of the project four of the lay counselors were educated as full NET-trainers with the ability to train additional staff and to disseminate the therapeutic knowledge.
This mechanism of dissemination has been academically evaluated. The recently published study demonstrates that both of the groups – those trained by vivo-members and those by trained local NET-trainers – are able to perform NET and FORNET effectively.
As a result of this project, MONUSCO-employees are able to transmit the knowledge of NET to their colleagues in the long-term, making therapeutic support in the context of demobilization possible.