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Refugees and Asylum seekers project

According to the UNHCR, by the end of 2009, nearly 43,3 million people worldwide found themselves forcibly displaced from their homes. In the same year, more than 922,000 individuals applied for asylum or refugee status. Despite the 2008 xenophobic violence, South Africa received the highest amount of applications, mostly of African descent.

As thousands of immigrants cross the border into South Africa, The Trauma Centre has since its inception, offered psycho-social interventions to immigrants affected by violence and torture regardless of their legal status or country of birth. In partnership with the UNHCR, refugee centres, legal aid centres and other non-governmental organisations, the Trauma Centre plays its role in addressing the needs of immigrants by providing psycho-social assessments and counselling. Of equal importance is the need for educational programmes geared towards combating xenophobia and encouraging social integration.

Sibanye Road-Show
This project is part of the bigger Refugee and Asylum Seekers Project within Trauma Centre. It has given young men from various parts of our continent the opportunity to share their reasons for migrating to Cape Town, South Africa. They have accomplished this by developing a body map of their experiences. Their stories have also been incorporated into a workbook which learners and teachers can use for further debating and engaging issues in relation to refugees and asylum seekers. We are encouraging schools in the Western Cape to give these participants the platform to share their stories with learners. This conversation allows us to learn why migration takes place. It also challenges our knowledge of human rights. We hope that many schools will contact us to participate on this project.

The Saron Sibanye Group
The group is comprised of South African and Zimbabwean men and women who reside in Saron. Home based care was used as a vehicle to facilitate the understanding that every human being is entitled to good health care. These men and women have learned a skill, home based caring but more that, they have learned that this skill can help many in their community to have access to health care, a challenging resource in Saron. The project has taught the participants to rely on each other for knowledge as well as access to voluntary employment. The project has, also equipped a community with 23 well trained home based care practitioners who are able to show the community that resources can be shared, offered and appreciated by all in the community.

Services rendered: Workshops for migrant and South Africans on integration and building social cohesion.  Educational programmes for school-going youth, group support, individual counseling.

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Our problems may be great in South Africa but the spirit and strength of our people is quite extraordinary.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, patron of The Trauma Centre

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