War Trauma stimulates knowledge exchange

In the past few years our partners at the West Bank of the Jordan River build a lot of knowledge on implementing the Multi Family Approach. This is a methodology which supports psychosocial support for and by families.

The Community Based Rehabilitation programme and the Institute for Community and Public Health of the Birzeit University are now able to exchange their experiences with organisations that are confronted by similar challenges in their environment. The Emma Foundation works mainly in Iraqi Kurdistan and came for an exchange visit to Nablus, West Bank.

Kurds and Palestinians are both in a situation where endeavouring for independence and self-determination is disputed and opposed. This is accompanied by physical and psychological violence, insecurity, restrictions of movement and political freedom and continuing economical crisis. Despite the hopeless situation people try to live a normal life and retain their dignity.

During the exchange the Palestinian organisations ICPH and CBR wanted to hear from their Kurdish colleagues about their effort to support the communities who suffered the occupation by ISIS. EMMA foundation support around 800 Yezidi girls and women who have been abducted and sexual violence is therefore an important theme.

The team of supervisors and coordinators of the Community Based Rehabilitation programme presented how the support of communities and families is organised. Part of the discussion was how to structure the Multi Family Approach within the groups of concerned families. On the West Bank the programme mainly works with families who have handicapped family members as they are confronted by additional care and stigma.

Part of the exchange visit was observation in one of these groups. These practical experiences and the feedback and exchange based on different viewpoints will enable the partners in the Kurdish and Palestinian areas and on the West Bank to provide better psychosocial support.