Work on the ground
RTI currently facilitates groups in two refugee camps for women and teenage girls. These sessions are activity-based groups designed to bring communities together and provide a safe supportive space to express and process feelings. RTI’s knitting group in Frakapor camp has been an incredible success bringing over 50 women together on a weekly basis to knit and support one another. During these sessions we provide a range of therapeutic support including implementing cognitive-behavioural techniques, mindfulness, and activities focused on empowerment.
RTI’s approach throughout all our interactions is family-centred. Our family psychologists utilize a systematic approach, understanding and encouraging the family as one unit. This often includes work surrounding marital relationships and parent-child attachment.
Since March 2016, we have supported over 2,000 refugee children, women and men of different ages, nationalities and needs. We support an array of reactions to this refugee crisis including suicidal threats, sleep difficulties, anxiety, depression, isolation and withdrawal, post-natal depression, PTSD, domestic violence, among many others. We have developed strong referral pathways that enable us to identify vulnerable individuals and families who need support. We collaborate with many organizations including MSF, SAMs, Swiss Cross, UNHCR, NRC, Save the Children, Nurture Project International to ensure families throughout the camps we work in are being supported and advocated for.
We work to build capacity for working with trauma and in difficult conditions for volunteers and aid workers. Often volunteers and smaller grassroots organizations will not have appropriate training on working with traumatised populations and its associated challenges. Between March and October 2016 RTI provided several trainings in Greece including personal safety, trauma, working with refugees, team building, self-care, and mindfulness. To date we have supported over 350 volunteers on the ground by running therapeutic groups that address the difficulties of working in refugee camp. We run therapeutic support groups and provide one-to-one therapy for aid workers and volunteers in need. We continue to provide this support after deployment to help them adjust to their lives at home.
Working with Urban Refugees
RTI is working to reach and support urban refugees in Northern Greece. We are working to create and implement comprehensive PSS support for children, individuals, and families in community centres around Thessaloniki area. Our goal is to be flexible and adaptable to meet the current gaps in PSS services. With five Arabic-speaking staff members we believe we will have the capacity to run women’s groups, men’s groups, sessions with adolescents, and facilitate comprehensive work with children aimed at processing trauma and promoting resilience.