On Friday August 21st, Norway`s Minister for International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein visited a trauma center in Khartoum to meet with local staff and learn about a new exciting project.
Research conducted in sexual and reproductive health issues reveal that, in areas of conflict, women bear the burden of instability as they become more subjected to gender-based violence, intimate partner violence (IPV), rape, unsafe abortion and its following complications, unmet need for family planning, as well as sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
The Ahfad Trauma Center (ATC) is one of two departments at Ahfad Univeristy in Khartoum, Sudan that NCA partners with to provide support to families who have experienced crises and trauma. Is a pioneering mental health and psychosocial service unit under the School of Psychology at Ahfad University for Women. Its objectives include support for individuals and communities suffering from trauma and disasters. It strives to rebuild communities and their lives, and provides psychological support and health care to enable them to live together, have hope and feel safe.
ATC also works to respond to community and individual needs through relevant specialists and special programs for trauma treatment, counseling and protection and provides counseling and other services free of charge. ATC offers training programs and counseling, as well as advanced and specialized health and psychological programs, plus integrated learning programmes and skills of dialogue (IEC) to raise community awareness about available services and the importance of combating the stigma of shame suffered by communities affected by trauma. ATC has several satellite centers in the different states of Sudan.
During his visit on Friday, August 21st to ATC, the Norwegian Minister for International Development, Dag-Inge Ulstein commented, "It was fantastic to meet Norwegian Church Aid's local employees. They have told and shown how crucial the job they do is. It is great to see how many they manage to help with the few resources they have."
A recent study in Omdurmna, Khartoum State, revealed that, 42% of women experienced at least one form of abusive behavior by their spouses. Of the 164 abused women, 68% had experienced at least one form of controlling behavior, 73% were threatened with physical injury and 48% had actually experienced physical violence.
The other department that NCA partners with at Ahfad University is the Gender and Reproductive Health and Rights Resource and Advocacy Center (GRACe), which is a specialized center on training and research in the field of reproductive health and gender.
The vision of the center is to generate evidence to guide and support policy and interventions for making Sudanese women and girls’ lives better. Is the only nationally specialized training and research center in the field of Reproductive Health and gender together for target groups such as medical professionals, researchers and academicians from Sudan.
Its main goal that is to promote gender equality and reproductive health and rights of the community in general and of women in particular in Sudan and the region. It conducts capacity building, research, advocacy and community based activities in different parts of Sudan and the region.
NCA has a new exciting project with Ahfad Univeristy that will help strengthen mental health services in several states in Sudan. The project is "The Application of Digital Technology for Support & Counselling Services during COVID-19 Pandemic" and the aim is to deliver free mental health services during COVID-19 through a helpline and a mobile application.
The project launched all it is activities under the name MABRAK, which means "you are not alone."
The project has three main activities that include training and capacity building for community animators in PSS/COVID19 and application usability, setting up the hot-line and referral process, and developing the Psych Wellness App.