VFH Uganda has been conducting group based Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness program to address the mental health challenges of refugee women and girls at Adjumani. Due to the current COVID-19 related restrictions, the team has adapted the project activities and resorted to radio based counseling program on Radio Salama which is run by the Office of the Prime Minsiter-Department of Refugees in Adjumani. We are deligted report that in our first one hour session, there was lots of calls from the community on how helpful the counselling program was. Many of the callers, majority being women shared how the COVID-19 lockdown had caused further stress to them due to the overwhelming demands to provide for their chidlren. We are garteful for you continued support to that is helping us buy one hour airtime on the radio to continue providing mental health education to refugee and host communities in Adjumani.
Mary was among the 25 women who participated in a 8 weeks Trauma Sensitive Program and was supported with Micro-Loan to start up a business at Boroli Refugee settlement of Adjumani. Being a woman with disability and having experienced sexual and gender based violence back in South Sudan; Mary had lost all hope and developed deeper hatred and bitterness. Mary had been living in Isolation and had given up hopes of doing anything for her life and the two grandchildren in her care left behind by only son who was killed together with his wife during the war. In Mary’s own words, she said “This program has helped me develop a sense of compassion and love for those around me. My brain now works better and am able to plan for my life and how to sustain these children I have been left with that’s why I appreciate the support of the Micro-Loan that is going to boost my business and enable me become self-reliant”.
The psychological impact of COVID-19 and now the current floods that have destroyed houses and swept away crops has left many refugee women and girls hopeless with others mainly single mothers and widows overwhelmed with needs to provide for their chidlren. Your giving enabled our organization to start community based group Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness program. To ensure obersvance of Ministry of Health Guidelenes on COVID-19 prevention, we have been able to enrol 20 participants in two different locations (10 particpants per group). The program is now in its third week and we meet 2 days a week for 1-2 hours per day integrates Mindfulness practices with psycho-education helping particpants to learn basic concetration skills and paying attention to themselves and their environment.
On our first day of the program, participants filled in Trauma Symptom Chcklist in which a majority showed problems with their sleep patterns (95% had problems sleeping at night or having a rest and difficulty concetrating).
Within two weeks into our program, particpants are beginiung to report ability to have a rest, one woman said "I have never slept for more than 2 hours in my life but since this program started, I now sleep like a baby, I don't even know when it gets to morning". Another participant siad "I had problems with concetration, i could even be eating and I don't feel the taste of the food I am eating, but the MANDASI EXERCISE taught me to give attention to whatever Iam doing and now I enjoy my food and get satisfied, am so happy with this programs, I even teach my children these exercises".
Thankyou for bringing hope and healing to these women and girls.
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