A Protocol for Psychological Intervention in Refugee Crisis: early experience in Rwandan Refugee Camps

This paper describes the conceptual framework and application of a working model (‘EPSoCare’) for psychosocial intervention for refugees living in camps in low income countries. The intervention’s main objective is social re-integration of individuals with
psychosocial problems. The model was applied in pilot programmes in camps with survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The interventions aimed to cover 360.000 refugees in camps in Tanzania, and 230.000 in a camp in Zaire. The pilot programmes were heavily impacted by the prevalent insecurity in the camps and the atmosphere of mistrust resulting from it, as well as by the
insufficiency of social services. The development of psycho-education material took more time than expected. Medical staff was not easily ready to be trained in psychosocial concepts. The course of the programmes showed the need for protocols with a well-defined target group and support offer, and a clear-cut working plan.

Scholte, W.F., van der Put, W.A.C.M., and de Jong, J.P.