On 17 April 2015, the Jiyan Foundation and the German Wings of Hope Foundation concluded the first three-year training for 20 trauma therapists in Iraq. These specialists are the first of their kind in a region shaken by extremist violence and the largest refugee crisis since World War II.
"When we first started the training in 2012, no one suspected the human-made disaster which brought this region near to a collapse", recalls trainer Peter Klentzan from Germany. "What touched me most was to see how Muslims, Christians and Yazidis learned and worked together in order to help others overcome their ordeal."
"Training local professionals in trauma therapy is a crucial part of our efforts to catch up with the immense need for psychological support in our society", stresses Salah Ahmad, President of the Jiyan Foundation. "However, this is only a small step and we need many more specialists to be able to help all those who suffer from traumatic experiences in Iraq and in Syria today."
The graduation comes at a time when the Kurdistan Region of Iraq hosts more than one million refugees, of which thousands are severely traumatized victims of the "IS" terrorist group. The much needed training was funded by the Protestant Lutheran Churches in Bavaria and in Wuerttemberg and supported by trainers from the German Wings of Hope Foundation and the Center for Psychotraumatology and Trauma Therapy (zptn).