CVT Awarded European Union Grant for Work in Central and Eastern Africa

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Minneapolis, MN—The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) has been awarded a grant from the European Union (EU) to expand its treatment work in Central and Eastern Africa. This funding will increase mental health services to clients suffering from the effects of torture and war trauma as well as develop local capacity to sustain such healing treatment for the long run. CVT’s work represents the organization’s belief that healing the effects of torture is integral to the process of rebuilding a post-conflict society.

The European Union’s European Instrument for democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) awarded a grant of 1,499,466 euros ($1,988,000) to CVT to hire and train national psychosocial counselors (PSCs) to provide mental health services to clients in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and provide mental health services to clients suffering from experiences of torture or war trauma in the DRC This grant will also enhance the clinical capacity of local torture rehabilitation centers in Central and Eastern Africa, including Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. The psychosocial counselors hired by CVT go through an intensive training program to become highly capable and skilled healers. The talents of the PSCs provide a lasting and able local resource. CVT also strives to bring attention to the prevalence and effects of torture in the community. The goal of community sensitization is to teach local leaders what they can do to help and to recognize cases were someone is suffering the effects of torture or war trauma.

The project is planned to run for three years and with initial progress being seen in PSCs being trained in Moba, DR Congo and the first cycle of clients are being treated, with additional PSCs to be hired in Pweto and Katanga, DRC to provide direct mental health services. Another aspect of the project is to enhance the clinical psychology program at the University of Lubumbashi, DRC. The project will make certain that clinical psychology students will be better prepared to serve torture survivors and that University faculty will be more effective teachers of clinical psychology in terms of torture rehabilitation. CVT is also working with local partner torture rehabilitation centers in Central and Eastern Africa to augment their clinical capacity.

For more information, please contact:

Anna Prisco,
Press & Public Diplomacy Officer
Telephone: 202-429-6387
E-Mail: anna.prisco [at]

Brad Robideau
brobideau [at]


Media Contact

Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Manager
+1 612-436-4886 (office) or +1 651-226-3858 (mobile)
Journalists:  If you’d like to receive CVT press releases, please email your request to Jenni Bowring-McDonough at jbowring [at]




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