What We Do

Psyco-social support in Niger and DRC

Since 2014, COOPI has developed psychosocial support mobile units in Niger, in response to mental health and psychosocial problems caused by the population movements triggered by Boko Haram’s atrocities in the north of Nigeria. COOPI has also been preventing cases of family separation by transitionally taking care of unaccompanied and separated children through a process of psychosocial rehabilitation, which involved 22,739 children (comprising 11,470 girls) associated with armed forces and armed groups. Furthermore, COOPI has developed an assistance model focused on the needs of survivors of gender based violence (GBV).

Similarly, from 2010 to 2012, COOPI had supported the survivors of GBV - inflicted during the civil war and afterwards - in the Ituri district and the Maniema province in the DRC, through a specific care and psycho-social support and referrals to holistic health services for appropriate medical care.
The approach used with both women and girls, and with children, was to holistically support the individual targeting specific needs in health and psychosocial well-being. The program ensured the rehabilitation of 60 health centers and access to medical assistance for more than 10,000 survivors, including men and women. At the same time more than 25,000 GBV survivors received psychosocial assistance and more than 12,000 people were given support in the creation of income generating activities.

Each individual participated in the development of an individual action plan and received a counselling process, emotional support or psychosocial activities necessary for his/her psychosocial recovery by identifying his/her own specific needs and resources.
The success of this program demonstrates the importance of developing action plans and specific actions for each boy, girl, woman and man, taking into account their vulnerability context and family and/or community coping mechanisms. The aspect of community involvement in prevention and response to human rights violations and abuses proved to be a key element for the sustainability of the action.