Sana’a, Yemen – Made possible by funding from the Government of Japan, UNDP in Yemen – in partnership with OXFAM – recently conducted a series of Psychological Support Sessions (PSS) for participants from the districts of Craiter and Attawahi in Aden, and Tuban and Tur Al Bahaha in Lahj. Supported by UNDP’s Livelihood and Human Security project, 600 participants received potentially lifesaving training and counseling to help them deal with post-traumatic stresses caused by living through conflict such as loss of lives, loss of property and bearing witness to extreme violence.
The PSS sessions were conducted from 1 to 6 December by four local-partner associations identified by OXFAM. The purpose of the sessions was to provide the communities – including women and youth – information on how to access grievance services intended to help them deal with post-traumatic stress. Tailored sessions were also provided for individual participants who wanted to become community advocates and mediators. These sessions focused on how to strengthen a participant’s capacity to identify people in need of assistance, as well as to train them to resolve community-based conflicts.
“The sessions were very valuable and productive, and it was an opportunity to relieve the stress and the psychological impact of the war,” said Dina Mohammed, a participant from Tuban district in Lahj. “The war has had terrible psychological effects on us because of what we have seen and lived through. By participating in these sessions, I was able to share my experience with others of when the war was raging in our area. I also shared solutions that I used to alleviate our suffering during that time, which I hope helped others. Participating in such sessions revives my hope in our future."
Importantly, the PSS sessions are also combined with a livelihood project allowing participants access to three major benefits: (a) cash grants of USD $132 for 22 days from the emergency employment; (b) capacity development training in business skills development; and, (c) micro grants up to USD $800 to establish micro businesses. Access to these benefits will help to provide much needed income and knowledge to help citizens of Aden and Lahj begin to rebuild their lives.
About the Project
UNDP’s Yemen Livelihood and Human Security Project (YLHSP) targets Aden’s and Lahj’s vulnerable individuals and neighborhoods affected by the conflict and returnees. The focus of the interventions are in three key areas: (a) identifying needs and opportunities for affected communities to return to normalcy; (b) restoring the disrupted livelihoods of crisis-affected populations; and, (c) strengthening community-based protection mechanisms with a focus on women and youth.
About the United Nations Development Programme
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is a United Nations agency that advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It provides expert advice, training and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries.
UNDP in Yemen aims to restore livelihoods, social cohesion and security, reflecting a minimum of conditions necessary for resilience while focusing on the community level. In this regard, our priorities for Yemen are: Supporting a Peaceful Solution; Economic Recovery; Restoring Basic Services; Preparing the Ground; and Empowerment of vulnerable groups. More at ye.undp.org
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