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The Center for Survivors is the term used to designate the medico-psychosocial center created for women and children who have experienced terror and physical and psychological suffering in the territories occupied by Daesh. Mobile dispensaries run through the Duhok region with teams of doctors, psychologists, acupuncturists and gynecologists on board. The latter work for these traumatized and weakened populations via medical care, psychotherapy sessions and therapies such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), hypnosis or even yoga. This work of healing and regular follow-up is essential to their fitness as well as their morale.
Since 2011, conflicts in Syria and Iraq have killed more than 450,000 people and pushed millions of people into the exile.
Among these IDPs, the situation of women and children is particularly alarming: they have been the first victims of ISIS Islamists and have experienced the worst atrocities since 2014. Kidnapped and sold, women and girls were distributed to combatants as sex slaves; the children, meanwhile, were kidnapped, brainwashed, forcibly converted to Islam and then used as soldiers in the jihadist army. Their physical and moral distress is unprecedented.
All suffer from serious physical and psychological consequences: post-traumatic stress, severe depression, hallucinations, schizophrenia, insomnia, mutilation and multiple physical pains. The need for deep and regular care is glaring.
To help these people in the work of mental reconstruction, EliseCare decided to create a Center for survivors for medico-psychosocial care.
The program of the Center des Survivants is a unique project with a double vocation:
The concept of the Center is to provide, in addition to vital and general primary care, psychological support to these populations.
In Iraq, in order to take care of care for major trauma, the Center for Survivors program is located in our fixed clinics in Darkar camp and in our mobile clinics which crisscross the province of Duhok. Thanks to the mobile unit, our specialists go out to meet women in the villages and succeed in creating strong bonds of trust.
We have been granted since January 18, 2018, official authorization for 1 year to also intervene in the camps of Bersivé I and II and Qadia (also called Rwanga on site).
To carry out this work of resilience, our teams on site are recruited from among the refugees and provide psychological follow-up for people in distress.
In addition to general primary care, a psychological component with individual or group sessions to begin the long work of repair and reconstruction of refugees. For this 3 psychologists work in our dispensaries.
Emphasis is also placed on the use of other forms of therapy effective on major traumas, such as counselling, CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) EDMR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, frequently used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress through eye movement), Exposure Therapy (or situational therapy).
Similarly, relaxation sessions like Guided Imagery therapy, similar to hypnosis techniques (effective against pain, phobias, anxiety, cases of psychosis and stress management) or even sessions of yoga for all.
In September 2017, the Be the Peace – Be the Hope program, American creation initiative led by Karine Parker, was launched and made it possible to socially and emotionally help 140 children from 8 to 16 years old, in the camp de Darkar and the village of Taleskeff.
Supervised by specially trained people, the children were able to speak in groups through artistic activities, express themselves through drawings through artistic creation, which allows a privileged space for expression.
The results were evident very quickly and our team immediately observed a decrease in violent behavior among the children who participated in the program as well as an increase in listening and solidarity.
As part of the Center for Survivors program, many initiatives have been implemented, such as: