Lobby commences CHVs’ training to strengthen access to healing for survivors of SGBV

A Nakuru based lobby has commenced training for Nakuru Ministry of Health officials and Community Health Volunteers under a program ‘Problem Management Plus’(PM+).

The Training is being undertaken by Dignity (Danish Institute Against Torture) in Partnership with MIDRIFT HURINET.

The 9 days’ training is aimed to equip the health officials and community health volunteers with skills that will enable them offer psychological help for adults in communities exposed to adversity.

Addressing media on Friday during the training, senior researcher and Psychologist Jessica Lambert from DIGNITY said the training was prompted by research carried out in Naivasha’s Karagita as well as Rhonda informal settlement in Nakuru West Sub County.

According to Jessica, the study that was carried out revealed several gaps in terms of addressing the psychological problems that emanate from gender based violence against women and girls as well among them mental health.

She adds that women and girls who have undergone GBV have developed anxiety and depression hence affecting the ability to function well in the societal development hence need for a solution on the same.

“We conducted a study that revealed that women who have experienced GBV have had problems in society leading to them not even to function well and this is what informed this training for the health officials” said Jessica.

This is the first training and according to Ms Jessica, the overall goal of the project is to strengthen the access to healing for survivors of sexual and Gender based Violence in Nakuru and Naivasha through Community -based Psycho Social Intervention.

Sentiments echoed by Ms Gitte Ronde from DIGNITY.

She says the Problem Management Plus program which is an invention of World Health Organization is a focused approach where a community counselor sits face to face with the client unlike the normal therapies.

The clients are taught different strategies to apply to their lives as a way of addressing the psychological problems they are facing.

Among the strategies clients are taught is stress management, practical problems as well as tackling emotional problems.

“This is a client-focused approach to address the client’s psychological problems” said Gitte.

The approach has already been evaluated in similar communities in Nairobi, Middle East in the Syrian refugee crisis hit and Lebanon.

Ms Jane Josiah from MIDRIFT HURINET who is also in charge of the program says the training is paramount as it will help in addressing the challenges in the society.

She says the Phase 2 pilot of the project will go a long way in ensuring access to services for psychosocial support for survivors of SGBV.

According to Ms Jane, after the pilot there shall be the roll out of the major project for Nakuru County next year (2020).“Actually this is a pilot phase 2 where we are trying to increase access services for psycho-social support for survivors of SGBV” said Jane.

Currently, the workshop will see 30 community counselors trained from Naivasha and Nakuru West Sub counties.

PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:Jessica Lambert and Gitte Ronde from DIGNITY conducting the training.