Our goal, in collaboration with our local partner organization, “Psychologues sans Frontières Burundi”, is to continue operating a center for Psychotraumatology in the East African city of Bujumbura, Burundi. The poverty-stricken people of this region have endured many years of civil war, and continue to experience political violence. We aim to continue providing these people with psychotherapeutic support.
The immediate goal of this crowdfunding proposal is to enable the work of our local professionals during the course of this year. As part of this effort, we are seeking to offer our staff health insurance. In order to do so, we are seeking to raise funds within the next 6 weeks to cover the cost of renting facilities, ongoing operational costs (health insurance for local staff; remuneration for security staff & accountant in Burundi; electricity & water), and public outreach and awareness (website). In Burundi, the last ethnic civil war only ended in 2005. The harmful consequences of this war continue to affect the psychological well-being of the population. Many adults and children suffer the long-term burden of psychological trauma. This challenging situation has grown even worse due to political instability in recent years. Our ambition in continuing to operate this center is to provide traumatized individuals (especifically disadvantaged groups) permanent access to psychological treatment. Over the course of the past several years, our team has led a number of different projects in Burundi (http://www.vivo.org/burundi/)
. In the previous 2 years, we have helped former street children to reintegrate with their families (https://sez.de/projekte/reintegration-von-straßenkindern-und-von-politischer-gewalt-betroffenen-kindern)
. As part of this project we provided psychological counselling for about 80 families and their children. Furthermore, we completed more than 40 trauma-focused therapies. Continued financial funding through the Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg allows our team to support this year children and their families who earn their living scouring Bujumbura's waste landfills. Through access to psychological, economic, and medical care, as well as education, we want to collaborate with the children and their families to develop an actionable plan for a future far off the waste dumps. All our projects focus upon treatment of psychological trauma and prevention of violence. Our most important intervention is Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), in which our local psychologists are well-experienced. NET is an empirically verified psychological intervention, and has been validated in many different cultural contexts including Burundi. Clients demonstrate a significant reduction in trauma symptoms. This has been shown to bring about an improvement in quality of life. As with all of our work, we continue to scientifically evaluate our projects in order to continue providing the high quality care.