Thursday, August 27, 2015

Congo Trauma Therapy Project

Congo is the most dangerous place on earth for women and children

Dear Friends, 

Welcome to helping families heal and rebuild their lives in DR Congo! I’m excited about returning to Congo next month and excited as well to tell you what we're planning there. Working with Amani Matabaro of ABFEK Congo, we're going to set up a trauma healing center in Mumosho, the war-torn part of eastern Congo where most of Empower Congo Women projects have taken place.

As you may remember from prior blogs, trauma healing is what originally drew me to Congo in 2008. And although ECW has accomplished many wonderful things since then, the Congo Trauma Healing Project has never come to fruition. 

But it is now! This September, we intend to establish a healing center where anyone who is traumatized can get the help they need-- rape survivors, victims of abuse, families, returning child soldiers, orphaned children, and teen-age mothers.

There is so much need in Congo—just about everyone is traumatized, so this trauma center will be a godsend.

Thousands of traumatized Congolese women and girls need help.

I plan to teach peer counselors a series of effective, simple-to-learn techniques that enable people to manage trauma symptoms. The counselors will be salaried and expected to hold weekly meetings where local folk can learn and practice the healing techniques so they can help themselves. We're going to rent a quiet space where people can come together in peace and safety.

The trauma healing protocol I will be teaching is a combination of breath work, body awareness, tapping (TTT), visualization, and some cognitive therapy.The therapeutic sequence has been designed to be compatible with Congolese culture.

This pilot project is intended to run for one year. At the end of that time, we will apply for a Rotary Global Grant to expand the reach of trauma healing in Congo. Stay tuned for the next email where you will learn the history behind this project and why we know it will succeed. 

Thanks for being part of the continuing efforts to make DRCongo a safer, kinder place for women and children.

With love and appreciation,

Victoria Bentley, PsyD.
Executive Director, Empower Congo Women

Copyright © 2015 Victoria Bentley. All rights reserved (applies to writing and photography)
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