Trauma Recovery Sector – NOW Holistic Family Development
Problem: Violence caused by lack of justice; broken relationships in families and communities; cultural norms enabling low view and mistreatment of women; unequal access to support and advocacy services.
Target population: Men, women, youth and children affected by violent conflict in society and families in Beni territory; thought leaders in the development industry.
Niche Interventions: Building capacity of direct care givers and community leaders in trauma healing and counseling. Providing access to robust advocacy and services for marginalized people.
- By 2020, Trauma Recovery program staff and beneficiaries will embody transformational community.
- By 2020, the Beni community (children, adults, families) will have access to higher quality counseling and trauma interventions from competent mental health professionals and pastoral caregivers.
- By 2020, vulnerable and marginalized populations in Beni territory experience measurable and substantially increased access to psychosocial support and trauma recovery services so they are able to constructively participate in and contribute to society.
Due to poverty, unemployment, and other hardships, families in Beni and the surrounding area struggle to provide vocational and educational opportunities, particularly for women and children.The conflict that engulfed Congo in the late 1990’s and still continues today in areas of eastern Congo has led to widespread suffering and exploitation of Congolese women and children. Even in peacetime, Congolese women are often regarded as inferior to men. Girls are passed over for boys when families must choose which of their children they can afford to send to school. Without education or vocational opportunities, women and children are left vulnerable. Women are unable to obtain gainful employment, forcing some to turn to prostitution and other forms of exploitative labor. Families are unable to afford school fees, leaving their children’s future uncertain with little opportunity to improve their living conditions.
Led by Dr. Kaswera Kasali, the mission of Congo Initiative’s Center for Holistic Family Development is to renew Congolese families and empower them to flourish economically, socially, and spiritually. The Center carries out its mission through two initiatives:
Vocational Training and Counseling
Vocational training and counseling provides at-risk women opportunities to receive training in sewing, baking, and literacy that provide a better life for themselves and their families. Counseling services that lead to healing and comfort from trauma are also available.
The conflict that engulfed Congo in the late 1990’s and still continues today in areas of eastern Congo has led to widespread suffering and exploitation of Congolese women, many of whom have been victims of rape and sexual violence.
Even in peacetime, Congolese women are often regarded as inferior to men. Girls are passed over for boys when families must choose which of their children they can afford to send to school.
Left without an education or options for gainful employment, many are forced to turn to prostitution and other forms of exploitative labor in order to provide for their families.
Through our Center for Holistic Family Development (CHFD), we serve at-risk Congolese women, training them in sewing, baking, and literacy, and empowering them to earn a livelihood that will provide a better life for themselves and their families–one marked by hope and opportunity, rather than despair and poverty.
Additionally, we providing counseling services for the women through the use of a trained psychologist. The trauma and hardships they have endured have left deep emotional, psychological, and spiritual scars. Our work is to bring healing and comfort to the women, along with a renewed sense of their identity as beautiful and strong, created in the image of God, women with value and purpose.