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100 IDPs Receive Psychological Support 

Some 100 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, have
benefitted from psychological support through mindfulness, storytelling,
poetry, motivational talks, video projection as well as question and answer
sessions.

 The exercise,
organised in a bid to address the issue of mental trauma faced by young victims
of the crisis took place on October 5 and 6 at the premises of the Hope and
Rehabilitation Organisation, HaRO Cameroon, in Yaounde, as part of the project
to transform their pain to purpose.

The keep fit was organised by Positive Youths Africa,
PYA, in partnership with HaRO Cameroon with the aim of reducing the impact the
Anglophone crisis has had on them and even make them forget the numerous
atrocities they experienced while they were still in the warzone.

During the exercise, IDPs of all categories shared
their experiences and highlighted their expectations, of which the most
demanded was education.

Franka Soulem, Director of PYA said: “our aim is to
help mentally traumatised IDPs or victims of war in general, to be healed
through the art mindfulness and released through the art of storytelling and
poetry. We hope to expand our art to include not only storytelling and poetry,
but also music, drawing and drama, because we believe that art is one of the
best forms of release and that art is best expressed through extreme moments of
pain or joy so we do not want our victims of war to waste their pain.”

“We want them to transform themselves from victims to survivors
and from victims of war to sustainable agents of peace. And if we do not cater
for the victims, we will not achieve sustainable peace because these victims
could be the next warriors,” Franka added.

Laying emphasis on the choice of psychological
support, the Director of HaRO Cameroon, Fritz Kwa Mendi, said, most
organisations are bent on providing material support to IDPs, and as such, they
thought psychological support is important to heal the minds of the IDPs.

“We saw the need for these IDPs to go through a healing
session. We noticed that, most organisations are so focused on giving material
support. So, we came up with the healing session because, no matter what you
give somebody, if the person feels traumatised, it will not do good,” Fritz Kwa
highlighted.

He stressed that, the partnership thought a healing
session could help transform the minds of the IDPs and encourage them to move
forward, remain focused, believe in themselves and let go the past. However,
HaRO Cameroon Director hopes to see Cameroonians, especially the IDPs have a
new mindset, so that they can pick up again despite their experiences.

The representative of the Ministry of External
Relations, MINREX, encouraged the young IDPs to be promoters of peace.

To her, if peace is promoted by all, there will be no
shooting, no discrimination because there will be love for the person next to
us.

A similar exercise of this nature will take place
later this month with refugees in Cameroon, and in November with Cameroon
refugees in Nigeria, in the Ogboja refuge camp.

By Annie Babelle
Odounlami