Snapshot from Liberia: CVT’s PATH Program | The Center for Victims of Torture

Snapshot from Liberia: CVT’s PATH Program

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pictured: Staff from CVT Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) and the Liberian Association of Psychosocial Services (LAPS) 

 

 

For many years, CVT’s Partners in Trauma Healing (PATH) project and the Liberian Association of Psychosocial Services (LAPS) have been working together as close partners in the field of psychosocial counseling.

Started in 2005, LAPS is a rehabilitative care organization that was founded by Liberian psychosocial counseling staff who were mentored and supported through CVT training programs in the past in the camps in Sierra Leone. LAPS’ mission is to “bring relief to survivors of trauma and torture as well as gender-based violence of all age groups, so as to enable them to effectively function in their communities.”

Over the years the dedication and ingenuity of LAPS has made the organization one of the most credible in Liberia, implementing projects for a number of UN organizations, INGOs and the Carter Center. During the Ebola epidemic, LAPS staff saw the need for their skills in a different arena and shifted their programming (including obtaining additional training for their staff on Psychological First Aid) to become one of the leaders in the psychosocial response. Now that the epidemic is under control, the organization is re-centering its efforts on the needs of the Liberian people. In part through the advocacy of LAPS and their partnership with the Carter Center, the government of Liberia has recently passed a Mental Health bill – an exciting development.

Last week, Kristi Rendahl, CVT organizational development advisor; Liyam Eloul, CVT clinical advisor for mental health; and Laurel Lunn, CVT program evaluation advisor, arrived in Monrovia, Liberia to learn about LAPS’ current programmatic needs and resources, and to help the organization develop sustainable strategies for their continued growth.

With newly-developed, participatory assessment tools and facilitated discussions, PATH is looking at LAPS’ current capacity and goals, working to determine strategies for the next few years and facilitating the continued development of this organization so that they can maximize the impact of their work, particularly in response to the rapidly-shifting needs of their context.

LAPS is the first of nine partners to receive this Foundational Visit, the first step in what will be a two-year process of intensive capacity building for torture rehabilitation centers across the globe. Through the PATH project, these centers will be linked together; able to collaborate, share strategies and best practices; and able to support each other in their fight against the impacts of violence on their communities.

To learn more about PATH’s global reach, read our blog post "CVT Partners Bring Psychosocial Work to Ebola Crisis". Learn more about the capacity building work of PATH here.

 

 

 

Partners in Trauma Healing is made possible through the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development and the American peoples’ support.

 

 

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