By Foday Moriba Conteh
As part of their efforts to educate people on trauma related issues in the country, the Senior Expert Service Bonn Germany in partnership with We Yone Child Foundation has on Monday 26th October, 2020 commenced a 10 day Training of Trainers workshop for community stakeholders on “Sustainable Education on Trauma Therapy” approaches. The event took place at the Dwarzark Community Centre in Freetown.
Speaking to this Press, Founder/Director of the Trauma Therapy Institute Berlin, who is based in Germany and also doubles as an Expert of Senior Expert Service Bonn Germany, Dr. Dietrich Sternberg stated that for the next 10 days they will be providing information, ideas, skills, training on Sustainable Education on Trauma Therapy for participants which, he said, is very key towards their development.
He added that trauma is a situation when someone is faced with a problem that they have never experienced before, adding that trauma is inevitable to human-beings and it is experienced out of mainly negative situations faced by individuals.
Dr. Dietrich Sternberg noted that experts have agreed that it is especially important to be availing information on dealing with trauma for a friend or loved one during periods where their trauma may resurface.
It was against that backdrop, he said, the importance of the training cannot be overemphasized as it will provide information and skills on how to deal with trauma and which participants can use to handle trauma issues in their different communities.
He pointed out that some triggers of trauma could include the anniversary of an incident, such as the 11 Years Civil War, Ebola, Mudslide etc. which Sierra Leone has experienced in the past and which left some people really traumatized.
He said as an expert in trauma they thought it fit to organize the training for community stakeholders revealing how they are doing so with the strong conviction that such a training could be helpful especially at this decisive moment when a lot of people are experiencing trauma on a daily basis.
Dr. Dietrich Sternberg further revealed that this training will empower the participants to be resilient giving them the capacity to handle trauma and maintain self-regulation when faced with such cases, adding that any form of trauma affecting any aspect of someone’s life is something to be concerned about.
Director of the Trauma Therapy Institute Berlin Germany & Expert Senior Expert Service Bonn Germany, who happens to be a facilitator, Pia Baerwald, expressed appreciation to Senior Expert Service Bonn Germany for supporting them to come to Sierra Leone to undertake such a training for community stakeholders, adding that the negative effects of trauma in someone’s life cannot be over emphasized and if not addressed could lead to severe mental disorder.
She also stated that Sierra Leone has gone through a Civil War, Ebola and Mudslide crises ,among others, underscoring that those are some triggers of trauma furthering that those incidents left some people traumatized and now need counselling in order to over the trauma those incidents have caused to their levies.
Pia Baerwald said with this training such will avail them skills, information and knowledge in dealing with traumatic disorders.
Pia Baerwald revealed that traumatic events occur when individuals are in situations where there are risks of harm or danger to themselves or other people. She said situations like those are usually frightening or may cause a lot of stress.
“In such situations people feel helpless and they need people to counsel them and these participants will serve as counselors in their different communities to counsel people with trauma,” she expressed optimism.
On his part, Founder/ Executive Director, We Yone Child Foundation, Santigie Bayo Dumbuya, expressed gratitude to the facilitators of the training Dr. Dietrich Sternberg and Pia Baerwald for coming all the way from Germany to conduct and facilitate such a training programme. He further thanked Senior Expert Service Bonn Germany from supporting the entire training process.
He said that the training is important adding that as an organization working in the interest of children across the country they do face a lot of trauma incidents relating to children who have lost their parents during the Mudslide and Ebola disasters, adding that this skills will help address trauma and mental health issues faced by children, parents, staff and women and girls in their communities.
He revealed that with this training it will equip them to handle such cases whenever they are faced with them, stating that the training brought together social workers, teachers, religious leaders, security personnel etc. as they play critical roles in society and in most cases come across different people in their workplaces.
Edward M. Jabaty, Chairman of the School Management Committee, We Yone Child Foundation and who happens to be a participants showered praises on Senior Expert Service Bonn Germany & We Yone Child Foundation for organizing such a training programme which he described as not only important but very timely.
He said since the commencement of the training exercise he has been able to imbibe ideas on how to deal with trauma expressing hope that by the end of the 10 days training he will be equipped with more knowledgeable about Sustainable Education on Trauma Therapy approaches and promised to cascade what has been learnt to help people deal with trauma in his community.