LIRA - NORTHERN UGANDA

Since January 2011, the International NGO Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations (CCVS)-Uganda has been promoting the psychological well-being of children, youth, adults and their communities living in post-war Northern Uganda and, more specifically, in Lira district.
The effects of twenty years of armed conflict in Northern Uganda on individuals, families and communities are still continuing to this day. These effects become evident in the number of physically and mentally affected people in Northern Uganda, who were victims of indiscriminate attacks against civilians. Additionally, the breakdown of communities and social networks as a result of (internal) displacement and the high poverty rate in Northern Uganda cause increased psychological stress in individuals, families and communities, resulting in a high prevalence of all kinds of mental health problems, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and family breakdowns. Despite these high rates of psychological stress and mental health problems, there is a serious lack of psychological support services, amongst other reasons, because of a lack of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists to support individuals, families and communities to deal with these challenges.
This project aims at further increasing the local capacity regarding mental health services in Northern Uganda on the longer term. Hereby, both in the shorter and longer term, the psychological wellbeing of children, youth and adults will be improved, both directly and indirectly. Directly through the alleviation of mental health problems in clients (with increased capacities of community, governmental and non-governmental stakeholders), but also indirectly through addressing the strengths in social networks and communities to support individuals' mental health and wellbeing, which then will significantly strengthen the social fabric of communities in Northern Uganda.

Currently, CCVS-Uganda has been extending its services to different communities, schools, Health Centres, the mental health unit of Lira Regional Referral Hospital and Lira Main Prisons. Divergent working methods are used such as mental health sensitisation and psychoeduction, individual, couple, family and group counselling, support groups, community dialogues, community therapy and play therapy. Also, CCVS-Uganda is involved in research and training of 
community, governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, and cooperates on the radio programme "Healing Our Wounds" (Radio Wa).

The driven CCVS-Uganda team consists of 11 members: Vincent Alele (Programme officer), Ponsiano Okalo (Clinical director), Jennifer Atenga and Denis Eyalu (Senior mental health counsellors), Rebecca Rachel Akadu, Harriet Awor, Sheila Ochan Apio and Lawrence Ogwal (Junior mental health counsellors),
Evelyn Acoko (Office attendant), and
Nicolas Ocen and Denis Okullu (Guards).

Supporting their activities:
Leen De Nutte (Executive Director),
Kizito Wamale (Clinical supervisor),
John Galabuzi (Accountant),
Ilse Derluyn (Head of the Board),
Lieve Milissen, Kurt Lievens, Sofie Vindevogel, An Verelst and Lucia De Haene (Board members), and
CCVS vzw (Parent organisation).

We are currently receiving funding from
Trust Fund for Victims (ICC).

CCVS-Uganda is taking on national and international interns. For more information, please refer to the document attached.

For more information, please contact us via lira@centreforchildren.be