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on a positive impact

Healing Post-War Trauma in Northern Iraq

The devastating aftermath of the ISIS insurrection in Northern Iraq has left traumatic, emotional scars for many children and displaced them from their homes. The conflict has also taken a toll on the area’s health care system, leaving limited resources for psychiatrists and psychotherapists. As a result, children and their families have few people to turn to in order to help them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

To meet the urgent need for PTSD experts, the Janssen EMEA GCI Fund teamed up with SOS Children’s Villages to create a network of psychologists and social workers trained in post-war trauma management.

The primary focus of this partnership is to support traumatized internally displaced children ages 8 to 18, as well as their families, in the Dohuk and Nineveh Governorates of Northern Iraq, particularly in and outside the Khanke camp for internally displaced people. Staff trained in social and emotional care aid children and their communities in strengthening their abilities to overcome traumatic experiences and rebuild their lives. Thanks to this support, which includes therapeutic activities as well as safe spaces for children and youth to play and learn in, the program is improving communities’ mental health, productivity and economic stability.

Volunteers receiving certificates of completion of TRT Training.

In 2017, 14 psychosocial workers, many of them professional psychologists, attended the Narrative Exposure Therapy training to learn to treat trauma-spectrum disorders in survivors of multiple and complex trauma. In addition, 10 volunteers were trained on trauma recovery techniques.

Beyond the trainings, 783 children completed the full therapy program, with as many as half of them reporting they have recovered or decreased their levels of trauma. In total, 1,257 individuals have directly benefitted from the programs.

Partnerships like these demonstrate the impact that results from empowering people on the front lines of care with the skills they require to respond to their communities’ needs. By training professional and informal caregivers to manage mental health and trauma, they become valuable leaders contributing to entire countries’ and regions’ healing process for years to come.

About the Janssen EMEA GCI Fund

In 2015, Janssen EMEA made a three-year £4.2 million commitment to work with the Trust to explore and support innovative programs that will improve the health and well-being of underserved communities. The focus of our current programs includes Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Strengthening Community Caregivers and Health Workers. Currently, there are 13 programs running in 19 countries and impacting 6,721 frontline caregivers. Beyond the programs, employee engagement is also an important objective of the Janssen EMEA GCI Fund. We establish links between our NGO partners, and particularly SOS Children’s Villages, our preferred partner, and the local Janssen Operating Companies in order to connect the Janssen employees to the needs of the communities and develop volunteering activities.

About SOS Children’s Villages

SOS Children’s Villages is the world’s largest non-governmental organisation focused on supporting children without, or at risk of losing, parental care. The non-denominational organisation was founded in 1949 and today has a presence in 135 countries and territories, with a workforce of about 37,000 people.

SOS Children’s Villages runs more than 2,500 programmes directly reaching more than a million children and adults. It partners with donors, communities, governments and other organisations to reach the children who need support, and it advocates for governments to uphold their obligations with regard to child rights.