South Sudan, Africa

SUD05 - Trauma counselling training for South Sudanese refugees: Partnership Reports

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Report Date: September 22, 2017

Report of the South Sudanese Refugees Trauma and Counselling Training September 2017


away from campThe training took place on the 13th and 14th of September 2017 in Koboko, a town in north Uganda 8-10 hours journey from Uganda’s capital city of Kampala.

Recent Events 

Training Team

The team consisted of myself (Thomas) and Joyce (my wife) as the facilitators, Rev Obadiah Batali was the translator and Rev Yeka Benjamin was involved with logistics. 


The participants consisted of pastors (12), women leaders (7), and youth leaders (14) giving a total of 33 participants. These groups of participants act as a link to various groups in the camps. The various groups will be involved in training and counselling of refugees in the camps. The groups will attend annual trainings on particular areas of trauma and counselling as organized by Life Gospel Ministries with the financial support of BHW.

helping each otherThe participants were transported to and from their various camps and accommodated in a guest house in Koboko. On the arrival date the bus transporting the participants broke down and the participants reached the venue at 3.00am on the morning of 13th.

Below are the compositions of participants per camp:
Bidi-Bidi Camp - 15 Participants
Rhino Camp - 18 Participants 

Outcome of Training

The participants have continued to build confidence in the ministry as being steadily committed to their difficulties. The participants later sang a hymn confirming the care and commitment of Jesus to us in times of sorrows and troubles. This was in recognition of the ministry serving them in times of hardship when no other church is concerned of their struggles and suffering in the camps.


Ideas for the Future

keen for helpThe trauma and counselling group need to get hooked into a sustainable livelihood project to enable them to generate income to help them support the project voluntarily. Rev Obadiah Batali had been the archdeacon of Morobo diocese in South Sudan and faced the traumatic experience of losing his wife before he became a refugee. A few months back he lost his elder son at the camp. He testified that he is often pitied by the Christians when he sits on his sewing machine to mend people’s clothes. This was mentioned during a discussion on the area of working.

I therefore suggest that such an innovation be supported in that a micro-loan facility be provided to acquire a minimum of 4-6 sewing machines to create a tailoring training facility to benefit the less fortunate women and men in the camps who have lost the opportunity for school or have no education. Rev Obadiah could manage this.

Secondly, a micro agricultural project could be established among the trainers and counsellors, a project to benefit 30 people to enable them to generate funds to support the trauma and counselling work in the camps. This could be growing short term crops, mainly vegetables, using the Foundations for Farming method of agriculture.

While some areas are rocky, local chicken rearing could be a profitable enterprise given the increasing cost of local breeds in the market in Koboko.


Challenges Facing Future Training in Camps

encouraging each otherThe participants came from different clusters or zones that are five or more kms from one another. Transport to connect from one cluster to another may be a great hindrance to reaching the people. Coordnation of the training may be a great problem due to lack of transport.

A one-time support towards transport could greatly motivate the participants and enhance the training of trainers in the camps. Lack of transport results in poor coordination resulting in failure. A motorcycle in each camp for supervisory purposes could greatly enhance the involvement of the trainees in reaching the people.

The motorcycle could be pooled but controlled by a coordinator of the trauma and counselling team stationed in the camps and could on schedule be used to facilitate the training in each camp once or twice a month. Another possibility is providing bicycles to the trainers and counsellors which may affect the supervision due to the distances which are often long and hilly and difficult to connect especially on hot days.



Regular supervision and training on more particular areas of concern related to trauma, counselling and healing.

The refugees are in dire poverty and need sustainable livelihood projects to improve their living.

Most pastors have no formal biblical trainining. Life Gospel Ministry is willing to run theological training to prepare the South Sudanese refugee pastors with three sessions per year providing a Certificate in Ministry or Theology. However effort is limited by lack of finance.


We greatly appreciate your support toward the training of the refugee pastors, youth and women groups.

God greatly bless you

In His service

Thomas and Joyce Lubari