Gukurahundi survivors trauma interventions start

Gukurahundi survivors trauma interventions start
Published: 10 July 2019
CIVIL society organisations have started working on psycho-social interventions and support systems to assist Gukurahundi survivors deal with the trauma associated with their past experiences when they open up as part of the healing process.

A workshop organised by Ukuthula Trust was held in Bulawayo yesterday to come up with a programme on psychosocial interventions for the affected people.

The workshop was attended by representatives from Ukuthula Trust, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Contact Family Counselling, Habakuk, Wild, Tree of Life and Grace to Heal, among others.

The workshop came at a time when the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) is preparing for public hearings as part of its national healing mandate.

Ukuthula Trust programmes officer, Mr Vusumuzi Mabaso, said it was important for Gukurahundi victims to receive adequate psycho social support so that organisations involved do not do more harm than good.

"The objective of this workshop is to come up with interventions on how we can deal with past injustices without further hurting the people that were affected. This is a sensitive issue that requires maximum professionalism and support for the affected people.

"We need to uphold our ethics as professionals and ensure that we create a comfortable environment that permits opening up for the sake of healing and moving on," said Mr Mabaso.

He said collective efforts from different organisations are required in handling the affected people and achieving the expected results.

Ms Grace Muzwuru, a counsellor at the Contact Family Counselling Centre, emphasised the need for a multi-faceted approach and preparedness in dealing with victims. She said there could be far reaching consequences if there is no prepared plan on how to handle people that were affected by Gukurahundi.

"The best strategy is to be prepared to support the affected people as they vent out and share their experiences. We need to provide an environment that permits opening up for the sake of them achieving the required results without causing further harm. We also need to assess their needs and help them see the need to open up and the benefits of doing so and ensure that we minimise the pain they go through as they narrate their ordeals," said Ms Muzwuru.

She said availability of support for the survivors will help them recover despite the trauma that they went through. Ms Muzwuru said individuals, families and communities were seriously affected by Gukurahundi, leaving them with fear and hatred with serious social implications.

- chronicle
Tags: Gukurahundi,


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