In Burundi, the TPO started its activities in 2000 and in 2002 ITC joined as the psychosocial and global public health subject matter expert with initial goals to provide psychosocial and mental health services to individuals of all ages suffering from post-traumatic disorders caused by emotional and psychological problems together with socio-economic problems as a consequence of civil war.
Throughout the years TPO/ITC has been acquiring a number of various projects and programs aiming for the rehabilitation of marginalized groups such as war and HIV/AIDS orphans, child soldiers, victims of sexual violence, internally displaced people, refugees and other vulnerable populations. Another important role that the organization has assumed is that of capacity builder. Staff of various international, local NGOs and Burundian government has been trained in different aspects of psychosocial assistance and mental health care. The programming strongly promotes mainstreaming of psychosocial and mental health wellbeing with regards to development and peace consolidation.
Projects implemented in the year 2008:
1. Psychosocial and mental health program
Donor: Dutch Government (BUZA)
Co-funding: ICCO, USAID, UNICEF, CARE International
TPO/ITC provides psychosocial assistance and psychiatric care to victims of war and to the most marginalized members of this fragile society. The program is operational in 14 provinces. The main objective of the project is to strengthen public institutions and capacities of members of civil society to attain sustainable and effective management of quality psychosocial and mental health services.
- Training of psychosocial assistants in psychosocial and mental health care
- Mobilization of communities and local administrators in management of psychosocial care
- Provision of psychiatric care through public health care facilities
- Psychosocial education of families and communities
- Direct intervention through problem-solving counselling (individual, family and group counselling)
- Provision of recreational and educational activities for youth
- Advocacy and referral of individuals in need of services other than those offered by TPO/ITC
2. Psychosocial and mental health assistance for Congolese refugees
The project provides mental health care and community services to approximately 20,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo based in Gihinga, Gasorwe and Musasa refugee camps and clusters of refugees scattered around Bujumbura City.
- Identification, referral, individual and/or familial counselling of vulnerable people, especially orphans, victims of rape etc.
- Provision of preventive and curative care to refugees suffering from mental disorders
- Initiation of community-based psychosocial activities, such as youth recreational activities, self-help groups, etc.
- Advocacy and referral of refugees in need of special assistance not offered by TPO/ITC
- Mobilization, education and sensitization sessions within the refugee camps about sensitive issues, such as alcoholism, gender based sexual violence, family conflicts, rape and other
- AGDM (Age Gender Diversity Mainstreaming)
3. Kirumara Program
Donor: CARE Austria via CARE International
The main objective of the program is to empower women in areas affected by conflicts. It is increasing the competences and capacities essential for improving their economic conditions, using their rights in addressing cultural barriers and political exclusion. The Program is carried out in three provinces of Burundi; Gitega, Bujumbura Rural and Bubanza.
- Sensitization meetings and capacity building of solidarities groups’ members initiated by CARE International on domestic violence and violence against women in communities
- Psychosocial assistance to victims of violence
- Community debates on psychosocial problems related to violence against women and strategies to cope with such problems
- Support sessions between victims of violence from solidarity groups
- Follow-up on the work of trained volunteers
- Advocacy on provincial level
- Home visits
- Referral of severe cases to psychiatric services offered by TPO/ITC
- Referral to services other than the ones provided in the scope of the project
- Recreational activities
- Mobilization of provincial authorities in debates relating to gender based violence
4. Support to health systems development in Kibuye health district, Gitega
Donor: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (TMF)
TMF Project in Burundi is one of the 3 project sites (Burundi- DRC- Sudan) of a “regional program focusing on rehabilitation of basic health services in three post-conflict countries in the Great Lakes Region and the Horn of Africa with an emphasis on malaria, sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS”. The aim of the project is to rehabilitate the health sector by financing performance of health facilities, while providing necessary support for improvements of the indicators.
- Implementation of Performance based financing (PBF) in health system of Kibuye district
- Verification of quality care and community satisfaction
- Establishment of collaboration with partners on the field
- Logistical support to the sanitary district of Kibuye;
- Capacity building of health staff and health community workers
5. Gender Based Violence Project
The project’s main focus is on preventive activities and provision of care to the victims of sexual violence in the province of Makamba. Particular attention is given to mobilization of community members to support the victims and their families and promotion of punitive sanctions against aggressors.
- Intensive sensitization and community mobilization (in order to be aware of the existence of the phenomenon, to denounce it and fight against it, to refer victims for medical, legal care and psychosocial support, etc.)
- Provision of psychosocial assistance through counselling and recreational activities for child victims of sexual violence, regular exchange meetings of the victims
- To refer the victims to services other than those delivered by TPO/ITC for a successful integrative assistance
- Coordination of campaigns against gender based violence in the province of Makamba
6. Psychological and mental health support to people expelled from the refugee camps in Tanzania
The project supports improvement of social conditions of the expelled people through psychological assistance and mental health services prior the integration in their new environment.
- Provision of psychosocial support to expelled people
- Provision of psychiatric care to people in need of such services
- Referral of people with problems other than psychosocial to other services
- Sensitization and education of people about consequences of psychosocial problems
- Facilitation of recreational activities for expelled people
- Stress management
7. Psychosocial and mental health care for former child soldiers
The project offers a range of community based psychosocial and mental health care interventions to children associated with armed groups and/ or movements and other vulnerable children.
- Awareness raising in favour of integration of former child soldiers
- Capacity building of teachers and community volunteers responsible for the monitoring of the integration progress
- Establishment of socio-economic activities for self-sustainability
- Psychosocial and mental health assistance
8. Project on Psychosocial and mental health, legal, nutritional and medical care to HIV/AIDS infected and affected children in Bubanza
Donor: CNLS (National Council for AIDS Control)
The project provides a holistic care for HIV/AIDS infected and affected children by provision of psychosocial assistance and mental health care and partners with other specialized actors that provide services in the fields of nutritional, legal and medical assistance.
- Psychosocial and mental health care
- Nutritional education and care (partner provided)
- Social and legal assistance (partner provided)
- Medical care (partner provided)
9. NZOKIRA Project
Donor: DFID through the consortium CRS/ Care International
The projects’ main objective is to build capacities of NZOKIRA partners (local organizations working in health, education and psychosocial assistance fields) based on the field in psychosocial and mental health care of orphans and other vulnerable children. The current project is executed in 8 provinces of the country: Ngozi, Bubanza, Gitega, Kirundo, Muyinga, Ruyigi, Bujumbura City and Bujumbura Rural.
- Strengthening capacities of NZOKIRA partners by facilitation of training in need detection and provision of care to orphans and other vulnerable children
- Provision of a technical support to NGOs and other structures working with NZOKIRA through educational supervisions
- Provision of special treatments to orphans and other vulnerable children who suffer from severe psychosocial and mental disorders (severe trauma, mental illness, epilepsy)
10. Child Thematic Project
Donors: Plan International, War Child
The project provides the ITC community and Classroom Based psychosocial Intervention (CBI) as a core component of the program with additional Minimum Psychosocial Care Package (MPCP) to children in armed conflict and/or post-conflict settings.
- Screening of children to determine their needs
- CBI interventions
- Group, family and individual counselling
- Resilience and peer groups
- Community psychosocial education and sensitization
- Training of teachers
TPO Burundi-Psychosocial Assistance and Capacity Building Centre
TPO Burundi-Psychosocial Assistance and Capacity Building Centre is a locally registered non-governmental organization intervening in psychosocial and mental health sector. The organization is an initiative of TPO-Burundi-ITC. Its’ inception has been influenced by the grave necessity for the enhancement of capacity of psychosocial and mental health fields in post-conflict Burundi.
The following are projects acquired by local NGO:
- Takeover of Mental Health Centre in Bujumbura City from TPO Burundi
- Access to mental health care in penal institutions of Burundi funded by the UNDP
- Support to victims of gender based violence in partnership with Care Austria funded by the EU Commission
- Rehabilitation and reintegration of former girl child soldiers in partnership with Heartland Alliance
- Holistic service provision to former child soldiers in partnership with American Bar Association