After a 3-day training workshop on “Mental Health and Gender-based violence”, co-organized by AFESIP Cambodia and Health and Human Rights Info (HHRI), held on 25-27 February 2014, now come to a successful and fruitful end. It is noted that the workshop was participated by AFESIP and NGOs staff who work directly and closely with victims of human trafficking, rapes and domestic violence such as TPO (Transcultural Project Organization); Cambodia ACTs (Cambodia Against Child Trafficking); CWCC (Cambodia Women Crisis Center); CWDA (Cambodian Women Development Association); Banteay Srei; Chhouk Sar Association; SISHA (Anti-Human Trafficking and Exploitation Organisation); and SKK (Sangkrous Kumar Kampuchea).
The training was conducted by Ms. Dr. Nora Sveaass and Ms. Helen Christie, clinical psychologists and Ms. Doris Drews´ profession to Specialist in psychiatry. The manuals and guidelines to be given to the trainees cover aspects of gender-based violence, including the prevention of GBV, the education of men and boys, and GBV in emergency settings, how to engage with survivors of GBV and how GBV, as a trauma, affects mental health. This training course is also designed to build up capacity of service providers to another level of qualitative cares to service users in conjunction with national and international standards, to expand social communication and networks among stakeholder partners who work in similar field.
The course taught the trainees about the importance of respect, willingness to help and listen, readiness to allow survivors to control their stories, respect for their self-determination as well as the need to know how to manage closeness and distance, how to give positive support and tolerate silence. The training includes elements of theory, but focuses on practical training techniques that directly assist survivors. The training also gives helpers tools they can use to assist survivors of gender based violence to rebuild their lives and rediscover their sense of dignity. The participants at the last session requested HHRI representatives to conduct a follow-up training course if fund secures in the future, appoint a focal point person to collect feedback from trainees and coordinate with trainers for exchange of communication. They asked the trainers to translate some parts of the manuals in Khmer language to ease in the implementation.
After a 3-day long and tough work, the workshop comes to a close late evening of 27 February. There to close the session, Mr. Sao Chhoeurth, AFESIP Cambodia’s Executive Director & CEO expressed his deepest thanks for the Norwegian psychologist trainers who spent their time and energy to build and strengthen the capacity of caring the victims to the Cambodian NGO staffs. Also thanks are given to all the NGO staff who participated and tried hard to learn new skills and bring into practice after the workshop.
Ms. Dr. Nora Sveaass, Clinical Psychologist, in return expressed her belief that the trainees will be able to put the trained capacity into practice, her thanks to AFESIP Cambodia for its effective facilitation and coordination to achieve good result, the trainees from various non-governmental organizations who have actively participated in the sessions.
At the last minutes of exchanged speeches, the certificates’ hand-over event was begun and the photo exposures taken place in a sincere atmosphere. The farewell dinner party was also organized on boat at the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers.
It is to note that HHRI is a Norwegian small human rights organization, having conducted pilots in Colombia, Congo and Turkey and now in Cambodia with its financial support to this training.