In Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi there is an extreme lack of psycho-social services despite there being a great need for such services. We interviewed handfuls of Dzaleka residents, almost all of whom explained they have experienced trauma or that living in the camp is traumatizing.
ROC is working alongside the Emmanuel Foundation and the International Center for Trauma and Care at Andrews University to organize the Dzaleka Healing Circles to respond to this need. The Emmanuel Foundation is an organization that provides various opportunities for those living in Dzaleka through grassroots organizing and community support, some of which being classes on various income generating skills and aid distributions. The International Center for Trauma and Care at Andrews University provides licensed psychologists, social workers and graduate students to organize psycho-social services in collaboration with those who are in need of such services.
Together, we are working collaboratively with members of the Emmanuel Foundation living in Dzaleka to organize the Dzaleka Healing Circles, which are group talking sessions organized for members to reflect on past experiences and provide advice to fellow group members. The Andrews team provides monthly trainings to three facilitators leading the circles, who are also community activists and respected leaders in Dzaleka. The facilitators then meet weekly with their small groups of 6 to 8 people, implementing the skills they received from the Andrews trainings.
Pictured to the left is the first training for the facilitators of the healing circles by members of the Andrews Center. Emily from ROC Ingrid Slikkers and Katelyn Campbell from Andrews and Mali, Nelly, Raphael and Donatien call each other using Skype for the first training. On this call, Ingrid and Katleyn provided a general training on how to organize group talk therapy sessions, providing information on steps the facilitators should take to ensure those attending healing circles meetings receive support.
Pictured below are images from the first training of the facilitators of the Healing Circles by experienced Psychologists and Social Workers and an image of the first Healing Circle session.