14 September 2009
|JRS trains refugees in many projects in counselling skills, including in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya. (Sophie Vodvarka/JRS)|
|"Many participants were amazed to learn that counselling also helps us deal with our own problems and live our lives positively which in turn is important in order to help the client."|
Fourteen refugees from Ethiopia, Somali, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) participated. The training was facilitated by two trainers from the Amani Counselling Training Institute whose mission it is to contribute by its activities to the psychological and emotional well-being of the communities in Kenya and the region. Eight JRS staff members and four social workers from the parishes where JRS works in Nairobi also attended the training.
The training covered various issues like self-awareness, trauma, stress-management, grief and loss and introduced us to the attitudes and qualities of an effective counsellor, various counselling, listening and responding skills and the counselling process in general. Among others, it also touched upon ethical issues in counselling. Participants were motivated and contributed equally to the lively discussions.
Helping yourself to help others
"Personally, I was happy to take part in this program as it will give me the skills to help my community and other fellow refugees who experience trauma, sorrow and grief because of the war in our home countries, the loss of our loved ones and our belongings. Many participants were amazed to learn that counseling also helps us deal with our own problems and live our lives positively which in turn is important in order to help the client," said Allan Kasangandjo, a participant from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"I would like to thank JRS for providing such a helpful training at a time when many people who have difficulties dealing with the experiences of their flight and making a living in Nairobi, knock on the door of JRS. I also thank the donors who provided the funds for this training, hoping that they may continue to support us so that we can acquire more skills which help us deal with our situation. Finally I would like to thank the Amani Counselling Training Institute for their availability and for sharing their knowledge with us," said Kasangandjo.