EU: €1.1 million for psychosocial support to DR Congo

June 12, 2019


Psychosocial support for children in war is essential for them to build a better future thanks to War Child in DR Congo
The European Union is providing €1.1 million to provide critical and urgent psychosocial support to 10,000 DR Congolese refugees in refugee camps in western Uganda – 6,000 of whom are children.

Strengthening Psychosocial services

The SPOT project (Strengthening Psychosocial support service for Transformation) – to be implemented by War Child Holland in collaboration with Humanity & Inclusion and TPO Uganda - will provide comprehensive mental health and psychosocial services to Congolese refugees in Uganda.

The primary focus of the 15 month project will be on the most vulnerable individuals - survivors of gender-based violence and people with disabilities.

Traumatic experiences

Uganda’s Kyaka II and Kyangwali refugee settlements are currently host to over 178,000 Congolese refugees. Many here have experienced significant trauma and witnessed unspeakable events on their perilous journeys to safety. They have witnessed conflict at first-hand, gender-based violence and the traumatic loss of friends and family members.

Horrific experiences such as these – and the utter sense of helplessness – takes a heavy toll on refugees’ well-being. And without adequate support, the most vulnerable – particularly those with disabilities and the elderly – are at significant risk of being further marginalised.

Nelson looking straight into the camera - participating in War Child programmes in Uganda

Nelson lives in a refugee settlement in Uganda

Photo: War Child

Support and comfort

The SPOT project works with psychologists, social workers and facilitators, using counselling, therapy and community inclusion and the services of trained community members that refugees can resort to for support and comfort.

While often neglected, mental health services are indispensable for refugees’ well-being and to help them rebuild their lives’ says Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. ‘In addition, it is important that refugees with special needs are given the therapy and social assistance they need.’’