Africa | Center for Victims of Torture


We began our work in Africa in 1999, providing care to men, women and children who fled to refugee camps in Guinea after escaping violent civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia. We continue to operate healing initiatives in Africa for survivors of torture and war. We also partner with African torture rehabilitation centers and other local organizations to strengthen healing services available to survivors of politically-motivated violence.


CVT Ethiopia provides direct counseling to Eritrean refugees living in camps south of Shire. Many are young men fleeing forced and indefinite conscription into the Eritrean military. But many women and children also are forced to leave and face horrifying experiences as they try to escape.In addition, to meet tremendous need for mental health care among South Sudanese refugee torture survivors, CVT extends rehabilitative care in the Nguenyyiel refugee camp in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, informed by our January 2019 needs assessment focused on mental health.

Dadaab, Kenya

Dadaab is home to the world’s largest refugee camp, with more than 350,000 refugees in a compound originally built to shelter 90,000. Many refugees experienced targeted violence as well as random atrocities of war. Most of the refugees are from Somalia with others from South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and other countries. CVT Dadaab is providing individual and small group therapy to torture and war survivors.

Kakuma, Kenya

In 2017, CVT began providing services to refugees and host community members in the Kakuma camps and surrounding communities in Turkana County. Refugees living in Kakuma are largely from South Sudan and Somalia, with a rapidly growing population from Burundi. Local community members are regular participants in daily camp life; they conduct business, attend school and seek services in the camps. Expert psychotherapist/trainers and a physiotherapist/trainer supervise a team of 13 psychosocial counselors and physiotherapists in providing counseling and physiotherapy services to survivors of torture and war trauma.

Nairobi, Kenya

CVT Nairobi provides counseling and physical therapy to refugees, many who fled the Great Lakes Region of Africa and Somalia. The UN High Commission for Refugees estimates that Nairobi is home to 53,200 refugees, although other international nongovernmental organizations believe there are many more, largely hidden from society.


CVT Uganda extends rehabilitative care in Gulu to survivors of torture who were affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict, works with mental health counselors in the region with ongoing intensive training and supervision, and mentors graduate students of psychology through a partnership with Makerere University in Kampala. CVT also extends care to South Sudanese refugee trauma and torture survivors in the Bidi Bidi refugee settlement. CVT offers both psychological first aid to those in need of immediate stabilization and 10-week group counseling sessions for adults who would benefit from longer-term mental health care as well as staff care workshops for humanitarian workers to improve and maintain staff effectiveness and decrease risk of burnout and secondary traumatization.


We heal victims of torture through unique services and professional care worldwide.

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We strengthen partners who heal torture survivors and work to prevent torture.

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We advocate for the protection & care of torture survivors and an end to torture.

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