Southern Africa: supporting children suffering from trauma (de)

Publication year 2011
Publisher SDC

The triple crisis of HIV and AIDS, poverty, and conflict is felt by millions of children and families in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2002, the SDC set up the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI), creating a network of 13 countries in East and Southern Africa, in cooperation with the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The objective of this program is to provide millions of children with psychosocial support.

An innovative approach
In war-torn and AIDS-affected countries, the focus of international aid is usually on material needs. SDC recognizes that psychosocial support for trauma-affected children is also crucial for the long-term development and stability of society. The REPSSI initiative is providing that support to children enduring the loss of caregivers, livelihoods, social networks, and health. The traumas they suffer often affect their relationships with family, community, and friends. The tools and concepts created by REPSSI are now integrated in school programs and in national education policies.