Healing the war 2007: psychosocial approaches for conflict-affected populations

2007 - 2007

When the Foundation began its work on mental health, it chose to build upon the knowledge and expertise of partners with more experience. In collaboration with IOM, the Foundation supported Healing the War 2007, a three-day forum to discuss psycho-social and person-centered approaches for populations affected by conflict.

The forum encouraged the Foundation to support the DARI project in Lebanon, which combined mental health services and non-medical psycho-social support.

This was a welcome development because when a conflict erupts, young people can be traumatized. They can be displaced, or experience the conflict first hand. If their needs are not addressed right away, they may face stigmatization, exploitation, violence and emigration, all of which threaten a society’s ability to recover.

After a conflict people often focus on their negative memories, and young people may risk losing their sense of identity, hindering their own recovery and that of society. Yet these young people are tremendously resilient and have demonstrated strong survival skills. Society should not see them as a problem or threat but instead recognize their key role in rebuilding a just and peaceful society after a conflict.

Healing the War 2007 consisted in a forum and a two-day workshop to discuss and develop participants’ ability to build a stable and tolerant society.

It gave the Foundation an overview of different projects in this area of work and led to its support of the Dari Project.

The results of the workshop were unveiled to key government and non-government organizations in Geneva and guest speakers included Nomfundo Walaza of the Desmond Tutu Peace Center in South Africa and ex-director of the Trauma Center for Victims of Violence and Torture; Snezana Samardzic Markovic, Minister of Youth and Sports of the Government of Serbia and Richard Newfarmer, an expert with the World Bank.

IOM’s page on the meeting

Project Highlights

Activities and beneficiaries

1 conference

23 experts

21 selected talented students

120 participants