HANDIKOS Centre, Kosovo, March 2012
Following discussions with Charley Swords from Action for the Development and Empowerment of Communities (ADEC), the sponsor organisation, Sarah Bird was invited by ADEC to provide practical tools to aid a group of individuals experiencing stress and trauma in post-conflict Kosovo, by teaching them how to reduce and eliminate their symptoms.
The target group comprised 25 women, ranging in age from late teens to mid-50’s, including 20 with special needs and disabilities, which included mild learning disabilities, sight impairment, clinical blindness, MS and amputations. All had experienced the trauma of war.
Analysis of the pre- and post-assessment Beck Anxiety Inventory forms indicated a 65% reduction in overall symptoms and sense of well-being amongst the respondents.
Qualitative feedback provided by the women indicated that they felt more relaxed, war memories seemed more distant and had reduced in emotional intensity, and they had feelings of increased confidence to deal with their own personal life issues. Additionally, the participants indicated that they had passed the techniques on to their own family members, who they advised had also benefited from the techniques.
At the end of the workshop, the women showed a higher degree of engagement and said that they felt uplifted and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to learn these techniques, and expressed a wish for a follow-up workshop.
Personal Video Testimonials were provided by a number of the participants.
The Centre Manager stated on camera that it had been a very successful 2-day programme, and that the participants were very happy. The training had been more helpful because the participants had been taught techniques/tools that were practical and usable. She stated that she regretted not having attended herself, and hoped that she could attend a follow-up workshop.