medica Liberia (mL), a feminist organization committed to transforming society and supporting women and girls affected by all forms of violence, in partnership with medica mondiale e.V., a women’s rights organization that supports projects and advocates politically for girls and women affected by sexual violence in war zones worldwide, and supported by Comic Relief, a charity founded to help disadvantaged people and those affected by famine in Africa, under the project “Strengthening feminist action in Sierra Leone to address sexualized and gender-based violence (s/gbv) against women and girls 2021 – 2023”, will jointly strengthen the capacities of three different Sierra Leonean partner organizations to provide response services to survivors, based on the feminist and survivor-centred Stress- and Trauma-Sensitive Approach (STA) as well as to capacitate them to train relevant public stakeholders and service providers in their work environment. Many organisations in Sierra Leone offer some kind of psychosocial counselling for s/gbv survivors; however, the partner organizations expressed the dire need for capacity building to ensure survivors receive professional supportive services that respond to their needs and to guarantee access to direct services such as health services, legal advice and psychosocial support.
STA is a low-threshold approach that offers women and girls affected by sexualised violence
access to support even within a working environment that has very limited resources. It was
developed in close cooperation and based on practical experience with medica mondiale partner
organizations from Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan and Liberia. While being shared in training sessions, it is adapted and further developed in the respective professional and regional contexts.
The Approach aims to:
- Ensure that survivors of sexualized and gender-based violence suffering from the
consequences of trauma receive competent support based on safety, empowerment and
solidarity in individual and group counseling services, in their social environment, with
service providers and within institutions.
- Enable activists and professional organizations and institutions to make their services
to survivor’s stress- and trauma-sensitive and at the same time ensure that they
themselves remain stable by establishing self-care and staff-care measures.
- Contribute to trauma recovery and violence prevention and thus to social change by
advocating for the implementation of STA at all levels at which sexualized violence affects and can be prevented.
The basic principles of STA form the basis of every form of practical implementation. They guide action and promote a specific attitude towards people affected by violence and also towards oneself as a supporter.
The beneficiaries of this training in Sierra Leone are:
- Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society (WAVES)
- Choices and Voices Foundation (CVF)
- Girl to Girl Empowerment Movement (G2G).
- Indirect target beneficiaries include:
- women and girls who will receive access to direct services
- Public and non-public service providers and other stakeholders
medica Liberia, formerly medica Mondiale Liberia, is a non-governmental women’s rights organization working in Liberia. The organization works with survivors of Gender-Based violence and provides a holistic stress and trauma-sensitive approach that incorporates health, legal, and psychosocial approaches based on feminist principles.