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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 130-137

Psychosocial support to vulnerable youth in vocational schools in northern Uganda

1 psychologist (MA, Leiden University, The Netherlands) and cultural anthropologist (MA, Leiden University, The Netherlands) working in Uganda since 2003. She is currently employed as the program coordinator for northern Uganda programs with the international NGO AVSI in Uganda. She is also a lecturer at the Institute of Psychology of Makerere University and a consultant psychologist in a private clinic in Kampala
2 teacher for children with special needs (Diploma, University of Halle – Wittenberg, Germany) and PhD student, carrying out research on reintegration of formerly abducted children andyouth in northern Uganda (University of Halle–Wittenberg, Germany). She works for AVSI as a program manager, and is the head of the AVSI education sector in the Kitgum office

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This report describes the psychosocial interventions of AVSI [an international nongovernmental organization (INGO) operating in Uganda since 1984] in Kitgum District of northern Uganda. These interventions are part of the educational programmes aimed at supporting vulnerable youth through vocational training. Apart from the educational support, the beneficiaries of the programme are also offered psychosocial support. This support is meant to help youth who have undergone difficult, and at times, traumatic experiences during the insecurity that has lasted for two decades and affected almost all families in northern Uganda. For many of the youth, access to education cannot be the only means to empower them to overcome psychosocial problems; but in combination with counselling, they can be supported to gain self confidence and to redefine their roles as independent and important members of their communities.

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