Occupational therapies

Women and children who have survived the horrors of slavery, torture and sexual violence at the hands of ISIS are in an urgent need of psychological support.

The loss of relatives and constant fear for life have caused serious psychological damage. Many of those unable to cope with trauma have attempted suicide. Research on C-PTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) proves that extreme stress experienced over a period of time leads to identity, perception and memory disorders. Typical symptoms include low self-esteem and a lack of self-acceptance. An important aspect of occupational therapy is reintegration into community and providing a sense of security. We needed to find a solution that would be suitable for the women’s difficult condition. After returning from captivity all the women and children were transferred to internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps.

We organized hand and machine sewing courses combined with educational activities for children.

The sense of security and spending time in the company of women who went through a similar ordeal enabled their re-entry into society. Similarly, spending time among peers made it easier for children to blank out traumatic memories. We launched that project for the first time in Sinjar, but the outbreak of hostilities in that region forced us to suspend it. A few months later we re-launched it in Khanke. This time it was successful. The 45-day long workshop combined with activities for children started on the 4th of September 2017. Later on, there were two more organized in cooperation with Children’s Aid Foundation in Zywiec and Child and Family Foundation. After purchasing sewing machines and other materials we have managed to open a regular sewing school.

We are going to develop this form of aid as it has brought positive results.

First of all, it brings everyday activities into the lives of the course participants and helps them leave painful memories behind. Children whose mothers took part in the workshop were learning English and participating in games and activities supervised by educators-volunteers from local charity organizations.

We are going to develop this form of aid as it has brought positive results.

First of all, it brings everyday activities into the lives of the course participants and helps them leave painful memories behind. Children whose mothers took part in the workshop were learning English and participating in games and activities supervised by educators-volunteers from local charity organizations.

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