News / Africa

Long-term Psychological Help Needed for Abandoned CAR Children

Children gather around a table at SOS Children's Villages Bangui. (Photo by Till Müllenmeister)
Children gather around a table at SOS Children's Villages Bangui. (Photo by Till Müllenmeister)
Kim Lewis
Continued fighting and displacement in the Central African Republic (CAR) has left tens of thousands of abandoned and severely traumatized children in critical need of mental health care, says the international organization, SOS Children’s Villages.
 
SOS Children’s Villages officials say children in the CAR are showing signs of emotional trauma during months of internal warfare. The children experience terrifying thoughts when they sleep at night, during the day they play violent war games and pictures they draw depict increasingly violent scenes. The international organization provides food, shelter and protection and gives these abandoned and orphaned children much-needed psychological therapy.

Lynn Croneberger, chief executive officer of the Washington-based SOS Children’s Villages - USA, says the global organization works in many countries where children are going through a lot of these similar traumatic experiences. “In CAR right now, that means we are providing support to the children in our villages in Bangui and Bouar, as well as children who have been recently left without parental care.
 
“They’re having trouble socializing,” Croneberger says. “They’re not sleeping. They’re having night terrors. They’re witnessing some pretty horrendous sights at this point.”
 
When psychologists ask some of these children to draw their feelings, “They’re drawing photos with stick people with guns.  They’re drawing blood.  They’re drawing murder scenes,” says Croneberger. “They’re not drawing typical rainbows and butterflies like children normally would draw.”
 
Stress reduction is not something that children should be experiencing, she argues. But, the therapy is helping them to sleep better.
 
Psychologists work with those who care for the abandoned and orphaned to recognize trauma, and teach them how to deal with traumatic situations for these children, Croneberger says. “If we can train our caretakers and do a train the trainer model, then we can provide more consistent long term psychological support, in addition to the security.  Those are things that will help the children in the long run.”

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid