Promoting Recovery and Resilience of Violent-Affected Communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt and Northwest
Nigeria Early Recovery Initiative (NERI), USAID
For over two decades now, the middle belt region (Benue, Plateau and Kaduna) and more recently the Northwest have been impacted by different degrees of conflict and violence that have resulted in numerous deaths and destruction of property worth billions of Naira. Recently, there have been renewed tensions and conflict between diverse groups in Benue, Kaduna and Plateau states.
The impact of this conflict, displacement and loss on mental and physical health is great as people are traumatized to varying degrees. An encounter with these victims, most of who are living in camps or with neighbors and have experienced very severe trauma underscores the urgent and necessary need for trauma consciousness and resilience. Children of displaced families or those who have witnessed brutal killings, separation from their families, destruction of their homes or even disruption or their living pattern are also traumatized, and this creates a deep worry and concern. This can have lasting impression and impact on them if left unattended.
This project was geared towards strengthening the capacity of selected community members to be able to provide Psychosocial support for themselves and to others with the view of alleviating the psychological trauma of these people while aiming to provide a new view to their future. This was aimed at building resilience and promote the restoration of the social fabrics of targeted communities.
This activity strengthened the capacity of selected community members to provide Psychosocial support for themselves and to others with a view to alleviating their personal and collective trauma as well as contributing to the project’s strategy of building resilience and promoting the restoration of the social fabrics of targeted communities. Specific objectives of this activity were to build the capacity of participants towards providing self-support; train and equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to provide psychological support to their peers as well as lay counseling skills; and having participants tutored to act as lay counselors and healing companions (first responders).
The 180 participants 90 male and 90 female including youths were drawn from 6 communities across Kajuru (Gefe 30; Kallah 30; Kujeni 30; Kujeni-Dutse 30) and Jema’a (Goska 30 and Zikpak 30) LGA.
Children Nurture Group and Peace Club
This activity supported children in their understanding and expression of emotions. 20 children each were drawn from 4 communities across Jema’a (Zipak 20: Goska 20) and Kajuru (Kallah 20: Gefe 20). The total number of children being 80.
Capacity Building for SARCs
During these phase, key officers from the Sexual Assault Referral Centers from Kafanchan, Kakuri, Tudun-Wada and Zaria and select staff from the Ministry of Human Services had a capacity building activity to further increase their knowledge on trauma healing, counseling and psychosocial first Aid that will enable them give better psychosocial support and first aid to survivors in their various centers and community.
These participants were also equipped with the needed skills that will enable them to manage Secondary Trauma especially the importance of self-care. Furthermore, the participants were shared into groups according to their centres to develop an action plan for their centres.