For decades, there has been ongoing conflict with 11 of the 50 local ethnic groups in Myanmar (Burma) resulting in massive internal displacement. Individuals and communities have suffered enormous trauma as a result of the violence, especially women and children.
The Sarah Bird Foundation hoped to start trauma healing programmes within the country, working in partnership with local and international organizations, building up local skills in trauma work to ensure sustainability and long lasting results.
Throughout 2013, the Sarah Bird Foundation was in discussions with Burmese partners assessing needs and, in February 2014, two members of the SBF travelled to Myanmar to initiate relationships and organise trauma healing programmes. The potential programmes we explored were:
- A trauma healing programme for 400 boys from 8-18 years who have been in conflict with the law, are orphaned or living on the streets and training the staff who are caring for them.
- A trauma healing and self-development programme for 30 young adults who were ex-child soldiers or sex workers.