International Women’s Day: Vive Žene Makes It Happen | The Center for Victims of Torture

International Women’s Day: Vive Žene Makes It Happen

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Measurement & Evaluation officer Mima Dahic and Executive Director Jasna ZecevicPictured at right: Vive Žene Measurement & Evaluation officer Mima Dahic and Executive Director Jasna Zecevic

This coming Sunday, March 8, is International Women’s Day – a day to mark the global economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. This year’s theme – Make It Happen – is particularly fitting for one of our partners in the Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) project -- Vive Žene.

Based in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina,Vive Žene was founded by a group of women volunteers from Tuzla and Dortmund, Germany. When providing healing to survivors of the region’s bloody ethnic war seemed impossible, these women made it happen. And, for the past 21 years, the organization has provided psychosocial and psychological support to survivors of the Bosnian war -- including specialized services for women and children – to help rebuild families and civil society. Led by Jasna Zečević, Vive Žene is continuing to make it happen.

Through the PATH partnership, CVT is working with the staff of Vive Žene to help them expand their high-quality mental health services to survivors and to strengthen the organization.

For example, Vive Žene staff know that the trauma of torture doesn’t end when the torture ends. Rather, it continues to manifest in consequences like increased domestic violence.  So, along with its work with torture survivors, Vive Žene addresses this related form of violence through a residential shelter program for women and children. PATH staff supported this work by strengthening the group therapy component and adapting the clinical supervision process.

During the PATH project, Vive Žene expressed an interest in better understanding the impact of their work through monitoring and evaluation systems. They established a goal for the percentage of clients they want to receive follow-up assessments, which entailed developing new protocols for therapists, building statistical analysis skills and creating useful reports. They achieved this goal and therapists now have an increased sense of their progress beyond the number of services provided. The findings help the organization identify what is and is not working, with the ultimate goal of improving mental health outcomes for clients. As a client-focused organization, they are excited to keep building on these successes.

This Sunday, please join us in recognizing the staff of Vive Žene, as well as the women who continue to suffer from the effects of torture, and those working to bring an end to the suffering. Just like Vive Žene, we can make it happen.



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