SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda initiated a Mental Health and Psychosocial Project aiming at building Mental Health competencies to support vulnerable children and youths aged 10 to 18 years.
In the community, SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda works with 32 schools in the districts of Gasabo, Gicumbi, Kayonza and Nyamagabe and trained 65 school-based counsellors who facilitate weekly support group sessions with children and youths where they develop coping strategies to deal with hardships and challenging situations.
The project also trained 534 caregivers enrolled into the Family Strengthening Program who organize weekly sessions in Village Savings and Loan Associations where members learn how to deal with psychosocial issues of children and youth, share experience and improve parenting competencies
SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda initiated a strategic partnership with the University of Rwanda to delineates opportunities and joint research to address social, educational and health issues. Under this partnership, the University of Rwanda, with the support of the University of Melbourne and the Dulwich Centre, accredited two training programmes namely a Clinical Supervisor Training and a Narrative Therapy and Community Work Program as Postgraduate Continuous Professional Development Courses. A total of 57 students are currently enrolled in both courses including students from different African countries such as Ethiopia, Botswana, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.
Other key partners include the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, the Kigali University Teaching Hospital, specifically its Mental Health department for referral of severe cases and peer learning sessions, and NGOs working to improve lives of vulnerable children, youths and families such as Humanity and Inclusion, Red Cross, CECYDAR, Uyisenga Imanzi. and ROCAM (Rwanda Organization for child and Adolescent Mental Health).