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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 40-46

Steps towards empowerment for community healing

pediatrician, is currently working with victims of torture and traumatised refugees in the NGO Refugio in Stuttgart, Germany., Germany

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After surviving a recent massacre in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a group of 22 staff members of a community health nursing programme requested the assistance of the author. During a three-day meeting, the traumatic experiences of the participants were discussed. Several steps, including performing a ritual (‘burying the dead’) and psycho-education on stress and trauma, were developed using the resources of the group. In view of the high numbers of traumatised communities, participants felt the need to pass on what they had learned. At a later stage, they began to view these issues in the context of community health work and prepared to change the mental health curriculum of their programme.

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