“Pull yourself together, be strong!” “Be grateful that you are still alive!” “God is good, stop crying!” Ethiopians hear such sentences again and again when they have become victims of robberies, rapes, accidents or ethnic violence, have lost their parents or – like the numerous Somalis in the country – have had to flee from the war.
A wall of silence
Most Ethiopians are convinced that talking about traumatic experiences only hurts. “What you hide long enough will hopefully heal someday …” Unfortunately, it is not the case. This is proven by the stories of numerous people who can no longer cope with everyday life because they have experienced such tragic things.
What can we do?
For two years we have been conducting training courses in Ethiopia on how to help traumatised people. The participants learn to listen to the victims and to process their trauma. One of the participants has already built up a pastoral care telephone network due to our work and cares full-time for traumatised people. After years, the victims can suddenly sleep again, draw hope and find strength to face their past.
A network for trauma counsellors
Our program includes three areas:
- Training Ethiopians so that they can offer a simple trauma counselling and later on offer counselling courses themselves.
- Building a network for trauma counsellors where they can exchange ideas and find support and advice for projects.
- Setting up an emergency team ready to provide emotional and psychological help in the event of a disaster.
Help at “any” price
Between 2016 and 2018, over a hundred trauma consultants were trained in France in collaboration with Le Rucher Ministries. Even with a modest contribution of 40 Swiss francs, one person can be trained to help countless trauma victims.