Network for Africa
Supporting communities recovering from trauma in post-conflict countries in Africa and helping them to rebuild their lives
A monthly donation of £7/$9 could pay for someone with mental illness to receive one to one counselling for a year.
When Network for Africa started work in Rwanda in 2007, a wise local woman told them people were so severely disturbed by their experiences in the genocide, it might be futile trying to train them with new skills. Psychologists say that when people endure something profoundly stressful, they may be mentally “blocked” from learning. By helping them to manage their trauma, controlling the flashbacks and anxiety, people can then learn new ways to increase their earnings.
From that lightbulb moment, Network For Africa was set out to tackle the massive trauma we found in places recovering from conflict – Rwanda, Sierra Leone (in the aftermath of civil war and Ebola), and northern Uganda, where the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army terrorised millions of civilians for two decades, abducting thousands of people, including child soldiers. We knew it was impossible to provide a mental health professional for each vulnerable person; instead, they have evolved an approach that network for Africa believe will last long after our project ends.
Network for Africa UK is responsible for implementing their strategy and for the day-to-day management of Network For Africa projects, including liaising with and reporting to the generous individuals and grant-makers who support our work. Network for Africa find respective and innovative local community groups in Africa, and develop projects with them for which they seek suitable funders. Network for Africa provide support for our local partners, while they help us adapt our approach to individual local needs.
Network for Africa’s vision is that communities torn apart by conflict and genocide can overcome the paralysis caused by trauma, identify and treat mental health problems and dispel myths about mental illness, thereby supporting efforts to rebuild their lives through education, health and livelihoods.