The Healing Garden in Chamchamal, a town originally populated through forced resettlement in Kurdistan-Iraq, provides a unique space for survivors of trauma and persecution to engage in trauma therapy through a variety of programs. Built in response to local therapists, the garden offers occupational, horticultural, play, art and animal-assisted therapies. Locals may use its weaving loom, pottery kiln, and various agricultural products to earn their own living, essential for long-term recovery.
The city of Chamchamal is located in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. People here have suffered under the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. During the so-called Anfal operations of the 1980s, many people were tortured, lost their livelihoods, and continue to suffer from trauma associated with the violence. Since then, violence has persisted in the region and many women, children and families require specific mental health treatment in a safe place.
The healing garden is a place of rest and security for women, children and their families who have experienced violence and persecution. The women and children in the healing garden are accompanied by our specially trained therapeutic team whom utilize a holistic approach to recovery. Patients may engage in garden, art, play, group and individual therapies alongside comfort from animals and a community of support.
Children and adolescents in particular suffer from the long-term consequences of these attacks. Many parents are still emotionally and physically impaired by their experiences of violence. Some cannot work, others take out their anger and despair on their children. Neglect and domestic violence are common in many families. The Healing Garden is designed to promote long-term and sustainable treatment for survivors and their families through individual, group, play and art therapies.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
See more photos of the Healing Garden here!