Development cooperation ,23.08.2013

Coping with ongoing Social Trauma – Care for the care providers


Especially in the eastern parts of Turkey various organizations have documented ongoing human rights violations, such as restricting the laws of freedom and assembly (HRW Report: Protesting as a terrorist offense), imprisonment of human rights activists. Our partner organization Human Rights Foundation Turkey (HRFT) has developed structures to cope with such events, including the rehabilitation centres for torture victims in five cities: Adana, Diyarbakir, Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. The main aim of our project is to enable best possible rehabilitatory work to be carried out. One of the main ingredients of this is the well-being of the care providers, such as psychologists, psychiatrists or social workers. In working with the trauma of torture there is a very high risk of secondary and vicarious traumatization, especially when this work is carried out in an unstable environment. The risk is cumulated by the fact that many of the care providers are themselves members of the Kurdish or other minorities and have often experienced traumatic events themselves, such as imprisonment or torture. Different studies indicate high prevalence of mental disorders following torture. This is in turn amplified by the effects of a long lasting internal conflict. Mental health issues add to social exclusion and stigmatization. By organising relevant care for the care providers they could in turn profess their work more efficiently and with less humane costs leading to a trickle down effect of better rehabilitation and care. We plan to increase the care providers' well-being by funding and organizing together with local authorities i) professional supervision in either group or individual form, while taking into account the relevant cultural contents, ii) information exchange, iii) raising awareness and iv) conducting research in the area.Special care is given to documentation of cross-cutting developmental themes, such as gender and social equality in general in the project


  • 2013: 21 200 €
  • 2014: 21 200 €
  • 2015: 21 200 €

Objectives monitored by OECD's Development Assistance Committee

  • Participatory development/Good governance

Field of activity

  • Health personnel development 61%
  • Health education 31%
  • Human rights 8%

Special target group

  • indigenous peoples / ethnic minorities

Funding channel

  • Finnish Psychologists for Social Reponsibility, FiPSR (Psykologien Sosiaalinen Vastuu, PSV)
  • Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT)



Code for the object of funding