Intervention Journal

November 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 3

SPECIAL SECTION

Introduction to the Special Section on former child soldiers' rehabilitation: connecting individual and communal worlds
Authors:
Derluyn, Ilse; De Haene, Lucia; Vandenhole, Wouter; Reiffers, Relinde; Tankink, Marian
Protective and risk factors of psychosocial wellbeing related to the reintegration of former child soldiers in Nepal
Authors:
Adhikari, Ramesh Prasad; Kohrt, Brandon A.; Luitel, Nagendra Prasad; Upadhaya, Nawaraj; Gurung, Dristy; Jordans, Mark J.D.

ARTICLES

Emergency psychiatric care in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Authors:
Goodfriend, Marlene; ter Horst, Rachel; Pintaldi, Giovanni; Junker, Anja; Frielingsdorf, Helena; Depeyrot, Joelle; Matasci, Lea; Moroni, Claudio; Musengetsi, Abdou; Shanks, Leslie

FIELD REPORTS

SUMMARIES

Summaries in Arabic
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Résumés en Français
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Summaries in Russian
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Summaries in Pashto
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Summaries in Sinhala
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Resumenes en Español
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Summaries in Tamil
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From the editor … a Special Section complete with dilemma

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Authors:
Tankink, Marian

SPECIAL SECTION

Introduction to the Special Section on former child soldiers' rehabilitation: connecting individual and communal worlds

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Authors:
Derluyn, Ilse; De Haene, Lucia; Vandenhole, Wouter; Reiffers, Relinde; Tankink, Marian

‘I Can’t Go Home’. Forced migration and displacement following demobilisation: the complexity of reintegrating former child soldiers in Colombia

This paper examines the reintegration experiences of a group of demobilised youth who were associated with various armed groups during the course of ongoing armed conflict in Colombia. In particular, the paper traces how the realities of forced migration and displacement profoundly shape and inform their reintegration experiences. Drawing upon qualitative interviews with a sample of 22 former child soldiers, the authors highlight the key challenges and impacts participants faced as a result of forced migration and displacement, particularly in relation to family, place, and (in) security. Our study indicates that despite these ongoing challenges, and within a context of ongoing war and armed violence, these former child soldiers have been able to lead industrious and productive lives through their commitment to education, employment and peer support.

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Authors:
Denov, Myriam; Marchand, Ines

Unfulfilled promises, unsettled youth: the aftermath of conflict for former child soldiers in Yumbe District, north western Uganda

This article addresses the long term impact of having been a child soldier in Yumbe District, Uganda. Within this district, a group of former child soldiers fell beyond the scope of almost all reintegration initiatives from the time a peace agreement was signed in 2002. Ten years after the youths’ return from the bush, the authors used a qualitative approach to understand their present situation. It was found that serious grievances were still expressed by the former child soldiers towards organisations that had promised them some form of support, but did not fulfil these promises. The effect of these promises being broken and renewed, repeatedly, over an extended period of time has provoked a sense of helplessness and anger. The authors show how this group of youth try to navigate these emotions within their daily lives. The findings also point to the importance of taking historical, cultural and political contexts into account in order to fully understand the effects of post conflict experiences of ‘former child soldiers’.

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Authors:
Both, Jonna; Reis, Ria

Child soldiers or war affected children? Why the formerly abducted children of northern Uganda are not child soldiers

In many places around the globe, over many centuries, adults have forcibly involved children in war. In more recent times, these forcibly involved children have come to be collectively referred to as ‘child soldiers’, in an attempt to address the crises that these children experience within war conditions. However, recent field experiences from northern Uganda show that children, formerly abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army, as well as the community they return to, do not consider themselves as soldiers. This paper explains the reasons why the children reject this categorisation and prefer to be regarded as war affected. This paper concludes with the warning that erroneous categorisation of war affected children might influence, and/or undermine, the effectiveness of targeted intervention programmes.

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Authors:
Angucia, Margaret

Protective and risk factors of psychosocial wellbeing related to the reintegration of former child soldiers in Nepal

This paper explores protective and risk factors for mental health and psychosocial wellbeing among 300 child solders (verified minors) through a longitudinal study. Both the Hopkins Symptoms Check list and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (civilian version) were used to measure mental health problems, while the Generalised Estimating Equation was used to identify both the protective and risk factors over time. Anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder decreased over a nine month period, while depression prevalence did not change. Social support, inter-caste marriage, low caste and residence in far western geographic regions were all associated with greater mental health problems. Rehabilitation packages were not associated with improved mental health, and former child solders enrolled in vocational programmes had greater posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity. The findings suggest that strong social support is needed, as rehabilitation packages alone may be insufficient to improve mental health.

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Authors:
Adhikari, Ramesh Prasad; Kohrt, Brandon A.; Luitel, Nagendra Prasad; Upadhaya, Nawaraj; Gurung, Dristy; Jordans, Mark J.D.

Harnessing traditional practices for use in the reintegration of child soldiers in Africa: examples from Liberia and Burundi

The changing nature of armed conflict has been characterised by the use of children as soldiers. The disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of these children back into society has become a primary concern for post conflict African countries seeking to achieve a sustainable peace. Studies have emphasised the crucial role of a participatory approach as an important factor in ensuring success in reintegration programmes. However, limited attention has been given to traditional cultural practices, such as ritual and cleansing ceremonies for child soldiers, in addressing psychosocial problems as essential components of reintegration. This paper, therefore, focuses on the crucial role and effectiveness of traditional cultural practices within the reintegration of child soldiers in post conflict Liberia and Burundi. Data are derived from content analysis of studies on the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes. The author argues that traditional cultural practices are integral to the success of reintegration of child soldiers in post conflict African states.

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Authors:
Babatunde, Abosede Omowumi

ARTICLES

Rebuilding the social fabric: community counselling groups for Rwandan women with children born as a result of genocide rape

The 1994 Rwandan genocide subjected thousands of women to rape, many of whom became pregnant as a result. Although mothers and their children born as a result of those rapes are an at risk population, there is very little research or reported programmes addressing their needs. This paper describes a pilot community group counselling programme for these mothers. Quantitative and qualitative data show the groups to be effective. The results suggest that the groups helped the mothers connect with others in a similar situation. The mothers also report an increase in confidence and positive emotions, and a reduction in shame. They further describe an improved relationship with their children. It is hypothesised that the groups helped to restore the social fabric destroyed by the genocide.

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Authors:
Hogwood, Jemma; Auerbach, Carl; Munderere, Sam; Kambibi, Emilienn

Emergency psychiatric care in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

People with psychiatric disorders in humanitarian emergencies are primarily neglected and lack appropriate treatment. This results in unnecessary suffering, stigmatisation, loss of dignity and increased mortality. This paper describes the experience of Médecins Sans Frontières in providing emergency psychiatric treatment as a component of a busy medical programme in Mweso, a conflict affected region of North Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Interventions included treatment with psychotropic medications by non specialist physicians and counselling by lay counsellors. Most patients were treated for psychotic disorders with good results. Our experience shows that generalist medical doctors can be trained to diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders. Introduction of emergency psychiatric care in humanitarian emergencies is needed and feasible, despite multiple competing priorities. Key issues to consider are contingency planning for programme interruptions due to security issues, simplification of protocols and shared care with mental health counsellors.

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Authors:
Goodfriend, Marlene; ter Horst, Rachel; Pintaldi, Giovanni; Junker, Anja; Frielingsdorf, Helena; Depeyrot, Joelle; Matasci, Lea; Moroni, Claudio; Musengetsi, Abdou; Shanks, Leslie

Key factors that facilitate intergroup dialogue and psychosocial healing in Rwanda: a qualitative study

Psychosocial interventions in many post conflict settings, including Rwanda, have failed to facilitate dialogue between members of conflicting groups while aiming to rebuild the broken social fabric that individuals and communities depend on for sustainable peace and development. Locally initiated programmes that do engage conflicting parties in dialogue are often overlooked, and therefore unable to inform interventions. To begin to fill this gap, this article presents a qualitative study of key factors that facilitated intergroup dialogue and mutual healing between Hutus and Tutsis through the Healing of Life Wounds, a community based mental health programme initiated in Rwanda. Data were collected from 23 participants who attended the programme as part of this investigation and includes pre and post intervention interviews, as well as notes from participant and researcher's observations. Findings indicate that openness to change, a safe space for sharing, an understanding facilitator and supportive material resources were all factors that encouraged participants to share their personal stories and engage in acts of mutual support. Participants began to integrate positive patterns of relationships within the group, and in their communities. The implications for post conflict rebuilding are also discussed.

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Authors:
King, Régine Uwibereyeho

Examining promising practice: an integrated review of services for young survivors of sexual violence in Liberia

In 2012, an integrated review of programmes for young survivors of sexual violence in Liberia was conducted in order to identify promising practice within the context of current prevention and response initiatives. A total of 279 programme related materials were examined as part of a structured document review. In addition, 40 key informant interviews were conducted with representatives from government ministries, United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organisations. The authors found a low number of programme evaluations demonstrating measureable change as a result of particular interventions. Key informants described programmes believed to be effective and identified challenges with the current system, although additional research and evaluation is needed in order to determine the impact of these initiatives. In conclusion, the study highlights the need to strengthen existing programme evaluation efforts in order to examine the impact of current interventions, and ultimately contribute to a reduction in violence.

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Authors:
Landis, Debbie; Stark, Lindsay

FIELD REPORTS

Evaluating the psychosocial components of a humanitarian project: describing the effect of an intervention in relation to psychosocial problems

One inescapable fact of most psychosocial interventions is the requirements of donor organisations, often in the form of project or programme evaluations. A group of psychosocial workers working with formerly displaced people, who are now relocated in resettlement areas, were asked by the donors to show that their approach is effective in removing psychosocial problems. In this field report, it is shown that, in this particular case the job of the psychosocial workers can indeed be described in terms of removing psychosocial problems. This required formulating a conceptual framework that distinguishes categories of psychosocial problems and links each of them to a verifiable indicator showing that a psychosocial problem has been addressed.

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Authors:
Anonymous

SUMMARIES

Summaries in Arabic

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Authors:
Editors

Résumés en Français

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Authors:
Editors

Summaries in Russian

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Authors:
Editors

Summaries in Pashto

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Authors:
Editors

Summaries in Sinhala

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Resumenes en Español

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Authors:
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Summaries in Tamil

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Authors:
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