Updated Apr 10, 2020

Well-being and Resilience: A Healing-centered peacebuilding approach

https://www.green-string.org/

Angi Yoder maina

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Trauma is widespread and pervasive. Significant health and well-being inequalities exist among children and adults living in adverse community environments. Building community resilience is important in promoting human well-being and capacities.

Healing-centered peacebuilding is a movement driven by local network partners. It incorporates low-resource methods building upon cultural practices and traditions. The methodology uses local folktales, case studies, and artwork allowing participants to easily connect and understand complex ideas. The innovation intersects peacebuilding with mental health and well-being. The healing-centered...
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Healing-centered peacebuilding is a movement driven by local network partners. It incorporates low-resource methods building upon cultural practices and traditions. The methodology uses local folktales, case studies, and artwork allowing participants to easily connect and understand complex ideas. The innovation intersects peacebuilding with mental health and well-being. The healing-centered peacebuilding innovation focuses on the transformative power of what is often overlooked - the courage and grace of ordinary people; the communal impulse to be whole again; the will to move past the ravages of violence; and the cultural wealth of traditions and practices of reconciliation. Emphasis is given to narratives that help individuals and groups break the "cycles of violence", developing community-led peace initiatives. Leadership at all levels is engaged in an effort to support the break-away from a victimhood mentality. There is a direct link between levels of trauma in vulnerable communities and people's challenges with access to justice, security, and overall social well-being. Persistent insecurity and structural violence result in both individual and collective trauma. Symptoms associated with trauma affect all levels of society including aspects of governance and security. The community dialogues activities are community volunteer programs focusing on providing a safe space for participants to explore issues of mental health, violence, and agency.
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Stage 5: Scaling

Today we have a proof of concept, a working road map of how we can do this. We are ready to make this commitment. We believe our work will bring not only a significant change to East Africa but also to how international development is done globally.
Registered in Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan as Non-Profitin Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan as Non-Profit

Focus Areas:

Mental Health, Peace and Resilience, Social Development and 5 MoreSEE ALL

Mental Health, Peace and Resilience, Social Development, Conflict Response, Gender, Youth, Social and Behavior Change and Democracy, Human Rights, and GovernanceSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and South SudanSEE LESS

77,930
Lives Impacted to Date
5
Key Partners
5
Countries Implemented In
12
Employees
$4,000,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Violence is one of our biggest threats: it impacts our well-being, our behavior towards each other, our ability to learn and develop, and our economy. Taken to the extreme the resulting traumas from violence increases instability, poverty, and extremism. It engulfs communities already weakened, exacerbates vulnerabilities, fosters power struggles, undermines socio-economic growth and can lead to violence. Trauma is not a mental illness, but if left unaddressed it will become one.

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Solution

Our innovation is contextually and culturally designed social healing programmes promoting the process of community healing and social reconciliation within diverse landscapes. Integral to trauma-informed peacebuilding are community-wide small group dialogues organized by local leaders and led by trained Community Facilitators. The trauma-informed movement is developing community-based structures which strengthen individual and community resilience to the impact of violence, abuse, and neglect.

Target Beneficiaries

Our work seeks to fill a gap in finding practical ways by using peer support groups at the community level where "expert" mental health professionals are lacking because of poverty, conflict, and cultural stigmas. The innovation assists the poorest, most vulnerable and marginalized with limited access to mental healthcare. Participants include people working in the informal sector, women's groups, GBV survivors, religious leaders, disabled groups, the business community, and other youth groups.

Mission and Vision

GSN's vision is to develop scalable healing-centered peacebuilding initiatives chronic violence, low-resourced communities, tapping into existing points of resilience in order to improve access, and quality of practical mental health interventions. The approach requires fundamental changes in how systems are designed, organizations function, and practitioners engage with people. The intervention is not just about raising awareness, but rather changing behavior, actions, and responses.

Competitive Advantage

Few organizations have developed sustainable, culturally relevant, grass-root trauma-informed community interventions. There is a direct link between levels of trauma in vulnerable communities and the challenges faced with justice, reconciliation, security, and overall social wellbeing. Violence begins with a thought, yet few interventions focus on the mental wellbeing of at-risk communities. Our approach has had a significant impact in challenging regions. In Somalia, there was a significant decrease in 9 out of 16 PTSD symptoms post-intervention. Findings also showed that there was less subscription among participants to the belief that fighting is necessary to defend the interests of one’s clan. In Kenya, participants reported interacting with people they normally would not. Unlike many programs, we have empirical evidence showing the transformation of our participants. We use quantitative and qualitative methods to gauge the change in behavior, attitudes and trauma symptoms

Planned Goals and Milestones

Our goal is to move deep to go wide. We want to continue to work in Somalia, go national in Kenya and move beyond the pilot in Ethiopia and Abyei. We have recently had visitors from eastern DRC, and northeast Nigeria, come to Kenya to see and understand the healing-centered peacebuilding model, in order to think about how they would begin to adapt it for their conflict context and culture. We want to work with others to expand and grow in chronic violence and low-resourced environments.
Funding Goal15,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted5,000,000
New Implemented CountriesCongo, Democratic Republic of the, Nigeria, Uganda
New FeatureCultural adapted of healing-centered peacebuilding curriculums for Nigeria, DRC, Uganda

The Team Behind the Innovation

The Green String Network (GSN) is a not-for-profit organization bringing together professionals in the field of peacebuilding, trauma-informed healing practices, and research and learning. Our initiatives are driven by local partners who own the healing agenda in their home communities. Over the past years, we have seen applications of trauma-informed practices positively impact communities in some of the most fragile areas of this world. We are women-led and are mentoring young professionals.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Feb 2020
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
ORGANIZATIONNational Police Service, Kenya  
as part of
 Maumko Mpya: Healing the Uniform
Feb 2020
New Product Or Service
Arise and Shine Community Dialogue for Abyei
Jan 2020
Funds RaisedPENDING
TITLEAbyei Peace Project: Trauma-Informed Social Healing and Dialogue
TYPEGrant
FOCUS AREAS
Rule of Law and Human Rights, Peace and Resilience, Mental Health and 2 more SEE ALL
Rule of Law and Human Rights, Peace and Resilience, Mental Health, Resilience and Security SEE LESS
Implemented InSudan and South Sudan
 
as part of
 Arise and Shine
Oct 2015
Key Partnership
ORGANIZATIONSomali Youth Development Network (SOYDEN) 
as part of
 Quraca Nabadda
Jul 2013
New Country Implemented In
Somalia
Jul 2013
Created

Supporting Materials

Kumekucha-Muamko-Mpya-brochure-FINAL-Small-orientation-null.pdf
GSN-Impact-Report-2019-FINAL-for-website-orientation-null.pdf
PHD-Systems-theory-with-images-December-2019-small-orientation-null.pdf