2012 Trauma Resources International (“TRI”) Annual Report

On January 12, 2013, I was in Haiti for our Trauma Resources International (“TRI”) Ke Ansam program. This year, we marked the 3-year anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake. There were several commemorations, though not to the scale of the past 2 years. This year, most Haitians spent the day with family, in quiet and deeply personal reflection and acknowledgement. I spent the day with one of “my” families there; Dr. Roseline Benjamin and her children. The night before, we listened to her son Mikaben perform at a new restaurant/performance space in Port au Prince. His song “Ayiti Se” has become very popular, and I first heard it in the second session of the current training series we are providing for psychologists and social workers. It’s a stunning song, that acknowledges the beautiful, historical, spiritual and magical aspects of Haiti in a way that celebrates her, rather than mourn her, as much of the current news coming out of Haiti still does.

TRI was established in 2009 as a non-profit organization, serving survivors of torture, war, political violence and natural disasters. On January 13th, 2010, TRI mobilized quickly to support URAMEL, IDEO and other local, well-established, and well-respected organizations in Haiti, who have a long standing and long term future commitment to Haiti’s well being.

Things have changed. URAMEL and IDEO, who formed the Sant Siko Twama (Psycho Trauma Center) in late 2010, now have two separate projects. URAMEL houses the Sant Siko Twama and maintains its expertise and prominence in medical and forensic services. IDEO has established Fondasyon Fwa (Faith Foundation) and have returned to their former (and now partially rebuilt) office in Bourdon. They are the premier mental health program for survivors of not just the earthquake and other natural disasters, but also the ongoing and intensifying kidnapping, rape, organized violence and torture that occurs ongoing. They also receive clients with histories of interpersonal violence that date back to the 1990’s embargo years, and the very violent period of 2004-2006.

In 2012, TRI provided two trainings (Part 2, and Part 3) in Restorative Movement Psychotherapy (“RMP”), and its cross-cultural framework for adapting creative arts and somatic therapies in post disaster contexts and complex humanitarian emergencies. These trainings took place in April 2012 and July 2012. Thirty psychologists, counselors and social workers were trained in the foundation of RMP, and are now utilizing it in their practices. As this training series is a Training of Trainers (“TOT”) format, the core team who are continuing with Fondasyon Fwa will continue to supervise the other clinicians at Sant Siko Twama and Fondasyon Fwa, and train others (community workers, health and mental health professionals, spiritual leaders) throughout Haiti. We did all of this on a shoe strong budget, with a few funds left from 2011; $1100.00 from private donors, and $3340.00 from Bucknell University. We had just enough to cover training costs, and our Director did not take fees for training time. The total raised throughout 2012 was $5440.00; however, at the very end of 2012, after a year of grant writing, TRI received several meaningful awards from:

  1. The Marian Chace Foundation ($3000.00)
  2. The Kind World Foundation ($7500.00)
  3. The Frost Foundation ($5000.00)
  4. The Charles F Gray Trust ($4000.00)

These donations make it possible for the entire training program, as well as programmatic support and start up costs for the community based mental health program, to take place. Donors and organizational funders—we thank you! Mesi anpil, anpil.

Moving into 2013: As Fondasyon Fwa restores and gathers its strength and embarks on this new program, TRI is supporting them. We are now training their core team of 10 clinical psychologists and completed the fourth training on January 11, 2013. They are hiring additional staff who will be trained in April 2013, and per the “TOT” format, as the program grows the team will continue to train new hires in Restorative Movement Psychotherapy.

This fourth training went remarkably well. We have begun working much more deeply with client work and more complex treatment. We worked extensively with their client cases, and the application of this work is truly breathtaking.

When this foundation phase of the training is completed in April 2013, we will offer a child-focused creative arts therapy module, as well as ongoing (on site and virtual) supervision and consultation.

We will also be supporting their children’s camp in July 2013. This program offers many children who otherwise would not have the means to attend summer camps to experience Haiti’s gorgeous mountains, outdoor activities and therapeutic activities. Our child training will coincide with this camp.

You, our donors, make all of this possible. Nap mache, ansamn. Mesi Anpil.

Amber Elizabeth Gray, Director

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