Jul 16, 2021

With Support of Family and Friends

Halabja Donor Report

7/16/2021

 

With Support of Family and Friends – Naza’s* Story

Naza* (55 years) had a good life before the chemical attacks in 1988. The third of seven siblings in a middle-class Kurdish Muslim family, Naza was always content, and maintained loving relationships with her parents and siblings. At 21 she married and mothered four children of her own, two boys and two girls.

During the chemical attacks of 1988, Naza and her family hid the basement of their home during the bombardment. Immediately Naza, her parents, and children were short of breath, vomiting, and experiencing burning sensations caused by the gas. As soon as the bombardment ceased, they fled their home in Halabja for a nearby village, Sazan.

Now homeless and displaced her family survived the next three years, as many others had, by seeking refuge in camps. Often staying only a few months before being forced to move again. In 1991 her family returned to Halabja. Her children robbed of their education and childhood she had envisioned were also now continuously sick.

Naza’s youngest daughter, an infant during the attack, has lived her entire life with physical weakness, shortness of breath and other physical symptoms which have caused Naza to feel guilt and hopelessness for her now adult daughter’s future. In the past few years Naza has been diagnosed with severe and worsening depression.

Encouraged by her family, Naza has so far engaged in seven independent and group therapy sessions at our center in Halabja. The sessions have included dialogue and psychoeducation, identified active coping strategies, beathing exercises and provided Naza with a daily schedule and tools to address negative feelings and helplessness as they appear in her daily life.

In addition, our team have provided psychoeducation about her condition to her family and with their support, along with group therapy, Naza knows she is not alone and has begun to realize a reduction of symptoms.

Naza continues to engage with group and individual therapy which have become a foundation for her life.

All services provided by Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights are free to patients.

*Names are changed to protect the identity of patients.

Halabja at-a-glance

In the past three months our treatment center in Halabja has averaged more than 500 therapeutic sessions a month. These include both individual and group sessions.

About five medical cases are handled per month at our center, most other medical cases have been referred to local medical institutions.

In May, through our program for capacity building we began to focus on training for internal staff on methods for depression diagnosis and treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other relevant topics. These training sessions were conducted through Jiyan’s senior psychological staff from the center in Chamchamal.

Links:

Jul 4, 2021

Miran's Story & Donor Update 2021

Mosul Donor Report

June 2021

 

Mîran* from Mosul

Mîran* was born in 1980 and she has four children. Never continuing past her elementary level education Mîran was forced to marry at the age of 15 and resign herself to being a housewife. During her marriage, her newborn died shortly after birth and her marriage ended in divorce. Two years later Mîran remarried. She had three daughters and one son who suffers from a cleft upper-lip and a hole in the roof of his mouth which requires surgery. The stigma of her son’s condition means her daughters are refused marriage and thus remain her economic responsibility.

During ISIS occupation her house was bombed, turned partially to rubble. Mîran witnessed the death of many family members, their corpses laying in her home. It’s the same home she currently lives in, and so she is often reminded of this horror. Today due in part to her low formal education, diagnosed depression, and difficult circumstances Mîran cannot provide for her family. Her husband largely ignores familial responsibilities, and their relationship suffers. Mîran’s fear for her childrens’ future and inability to secure necessities had driven Mara to attempted suicide.

Since April 2021 Mîran has received seven treatment sessions, psychological education on depression, and writing exercises to understand, analyze, and sometimes challenge her ideas and emotions. Her mood has slowly improved but Mîran requires continued treatment sessions to build self-confidence and begin addressing external factors contributing to her condition.

Mîran* represents many residents of Mosul who come to receive psychological treatment. Most of the women in these situations suffer from domestic violence. Due to various circumstances including war, economic instability, and a lack of education it is common in these situations for the male head of house to neglect and not recognize any responsibility caring for their family. This places unreasonable expectations on the female heads of household and often leads to stress, depression, and feelings of hopelessness.

 

Three months at-a-glance

  • Received and treated more than 820 patient cases in the center.
  • Hosted 20 sessions of the Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence Program.
  • Hosted 11 sessions of the human rights education program in local schools.
  • Hosted 7 external seminars.
  • During these past three months our staff have received two parts of their ongoing training in Psychotraumatology.

 

Human rights education & dialogue

Our treatment center in Mosul hosts local human rights education courses and interfaith dialogue and coexistence events. Each month our Mosul center hold four human rights courses for children in local schools and orphanages. The courses are directed for children from 8 – 16 years old and seek to provide a general understanding of their individual rights, recognize possible abuses, and direct them to seek safe avenues of addressing any violations.

This month our treatment center in Mosul realized its goal by hosting 117 local participants in its interfaith dialogue and coexistence events. Part and parcel with human rights education and mental health treatment, dialogue and interfaith communication is essential for the long-term stability of Mosul’s diverse population.

Capacity building

One of the best uses of our resources is investing in our staff. Each month the treatment center in Mosul hosts 12 – 20 training courses for our staff. This June our staff took part in Psychotraumatology, social work, collective and individual supervision trainings. The majority of our staff participated in these capacity building trainings.

The branch library still needs books

The library in Mosul is a multi-purpose room but lacks sufficient reading material. With only 60 books, it is hardly a library. Staff has requested on Mental Health, treatment methods and medical reference. We also require children’s books and young adult novels for patients. For direct donations of books and reading material please email info@jiyan-foundation.org

Fortunately, there is more than one way to help.

Share this project with friends and family, and let them know why the treatment center for survivors of violence and trauma in Mosul is worth supporting. With so many good causes out there, word of mouth is perhaps the most valuable tool at our disposal.

 

*Names of beneficiaries are changed to respect privacy and ensure safety.

Links:

Jun 29, 2021

Highlighting Healing and Animal Assistance

Animal assistants help build confidence.
Animal assistants help build confidence.

Clinic for Yazidi Women & Garden Update 06/29/2021

 

Highlighting healing

This Spring, the Healing Garden hosted a number of groups and events more in-line with pre-pandemic programming. This report we’d like to highlight the continuation of our group therapy program for Yazidi women. This past May our psychotherapists from the Clinic for Yazidi Women in Chamchamal invited two therapy groups to the garden to introduce and discuss the impact of horticultural therapy and animal engagement on individuals’ moods.

Internal assessments from our therapists describe stabilizing effects and a reduction of symptoms for patients after engaging in continuous animal-assisted intervention and horticultural therapy. As we move into summer months individual and group therapy visits from the Yazidi Women’s Clinic will become more regular and provide our staff with better insights into the effects of these newly added programs.

Vaccinating staff

At the time of this report the majority of our staff in Chamchamal have received their first does of the COVID – 19 vaccines. This coincides with our ability take on new beneficiaries and host new events for children, families, and groups outside of the area.

The new room

If you have been following our updates you probably already know about the construction of a new multipurpose building at the Healing Garden. Well we are happy to report the building project has been completed on schedule and is already being used for group therapy and children’s events.

New additions to our animal family

In May, the Healing Garden received a honey hive complete with a full colony of honey making bees. Also in May we welcomed two baby geese to our animal family!

How donations are spent:

The Healing Garden requires a lot of upkeep. The sustainable architecture and living materials are in constant need of maintenance and the animals require daily care. Excluding staff salaries, the Healing Garden costs on average $3,500 each month to maintain.

  • Therapist / Mental Health Specialist: $600 - $900 per month
  • One 60-minute therapy session (individual or group) is about $12
  • Animal feed and supplies: $1000
  • Veterinary appointments and medication for animals: $450
  • Garden maintenance and other staff: $1500

Upcoming projects include:

  • Increasing the number of group therapy events at the healing garden.
  • Continue assessing effectiveness of new therapeutic methods.
  • Planting 2,000 trees and 1,000 flowers
  • Completing installation of solar panels

Links:

 
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