Partnership for Trauma healing in Africa
In 2008, we began our partnership with Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS), an organization in Burundi, Africa whose mission is to set a new path to peace in the Burundi and Great Lakes region of Africa after years of ethnic conflict and war. Burundi is currently one of the five poorest countries in the world.
About the Partnership
Responding to the needs of THARS and the communities in Burundi, our goal for this partnership is to support and facilitate emotional and spiritual healing for communities, families, and individuals in Burundi. To achieve this goal we:
Provide hard-to-access resources
Communities in Burundi do not have easy access to many resources. We bring many of these hard-to-access resources to Burundi each time we visit. To name a few:
You can help the people of Burundi by donating items for our next trip!
Train mental health professionals, community leaders, and pastors in trauma healing
As we are only in Burundi for a short time, our goal is to provide training in trauma healing to people in Burundi who can then go out and train others around the country. These participants are mental health professionals, community leaders, and pastors.
As we have easier access to up-to-date research and information about trauma healing, we act as instruments to collect and provide that information to participants. The participants, experts in their own culture and the unique circumstances of Burundi, then translate the information into formats that will be useful and culturally relevant to them.
We use a variety of multimodal techniques for training including didactics, small and large group discussion, role play, storytelling, drama, music, play, and methods for practicing techniques.
Provide community programming for local children and youth
We conduct a therapeutic program for children that includes building skills for emotional awareness, social interaction, healthy behavior, communication, and conflict resolution. Another focus is leadership development for older youth. Through these programs, we hope to contribute to building healthy, peaceful individuals, families, and communities.
Social Media, Blogs, and Pics
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Some of our volunteers keep blogs while in Burundi. Check out some of the posts from our 2013 and 2017 trips
Check out some photos from our previous trips below:
For pastors and community leaders, we will provide a leadership training. We will also train youth to empathize with peers and to be leaders within their community and among their peers. For mental health providers, we will provide training in psychological first-aid, basic counseling techniques, strategies for managing compassion fatigue, conflict resolution and peace-building techniques, and counseling for trauma recovery.
We will provide a professional marital seminar and programs for at-risk children to learn social skills necessary for day-to-day life.
We will bring supplies that will help THARS open its new Creative Arts University and run their current programs.
Founded in 2000 by David Nyonzima,THARS is an independent, non-profit, interfaith organization providing resources for trauma healing and reconciliation to Burundi and the African Great Lakes Region. As a group of psychosocial practitioners and peacemakers, their programs and services include workshops, counseling, listening centers, support groups, and shelters for sexual assault victims to name a few. Operating out of their headquarters in Bujumbura, Burundi, THARS promotes a new path to peace for a country that has experienced extensive civil war. For more information, see THARS' website. (http://www.thars.org/)