The 2016 United Nations Day in support of Victims of Torture was commemorated by the Liberia Association of Psychosocial services (LAPS) in Bopolu-- the capital City of Gbarpolu County. The Theme for this year’s observance was “From Horror to Healing" and, it was carried out through the following activities: Parade through the principal streets of Bopolu and, later   an indoor program. Altogether, about 1000 persons were reached and they made remarks—promising to promote the healing processes of victims of torture.

The 4 year capacity building project called "Partners in Trauma Healing" (PATH) funded by USAID through the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) Minneapolis came to an end in June 2015-- although, technical support will still be offered by the PATH advisors to LAPS until the end of September 2015.

One of the major end of project activity was an international workshop held in Tbilisi, Georgia. LAPS was represented at this workshop through its Executive Director along with two LAPS Clinical Supervisors along with representatives from 9 other torture treatment centers that are part of the PATH project-- around the world during the weeklong event.

The workshop was facilitated on the theme: "SUSTAINING THE GAINS".

During the workshop, LAPS had the opportunity to share with and, learn about the work of other torture treatment centers around the world.

Besides, a road map on how some of the gains of the PATH project will be sustained by LAPS was developed and, will be worked on beyond the lifespan of the PATH project.

Meanwhile, LAPS also participated in several memorable activities that marked the official end of the series of annual PATH workshops.

On an overall, the PATH project impacted our organization positively in the areas of mental health services to torture survivors; measuring those services through M&E domains and supporting those services through organizational development and governance.

The PATH project was also an 'Eye Opener' for LAPS. For instance, it complemented and strengthened the things that were being done well; led us into doing things in an improved manner; made us aware of things that were not done but, are considered best practices around the world and, helped us adapt them to our context.

Besides, the project also created platforms through which, we shared and learned from other partners around the world that are also offering services to torture survivors.

LAPS participate in new Ebola outbreak interventions

Unfortunately on June 29, 2015, one case involving the dead body of a 17 year old boy was tested Ebola positive in Liberia---thus making the Ebola virus to re-surface in Liberia. This also made the status of Liberia being Ebola free to change subsequently.

The area where this new outbreak resurfaced (Needowein Community, Margibi County) is about 45 minutes drive from Monrovia--the capital city of Liberia.

Although, the origin of this new outbreak has not been linked with any cross border factors such as, the victim crossing from neighboring Guinea or Sierra Leone, however, the actual cause has not been established--still under study by the health practitioners.

LAPS collaborated with various stakeholders in the fight against the Ebola virus from which, the country experienced remarkable improvement and contained the virus in a shorter period of time. With support from and, in collaboration with UNICEF, LAPS facilitated a one day workshop with Caregivers of children who are members of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) of the local school in unification town where the 17 year old Ebola victim was attending.

Besides, LAPS also served as one of the facilitators along with the Red Cross; International Medical Corps(IMC); Ministry of Gender, Children and social protection; UNICEF and W.H.O.

Bring Back training workshop conducted with LAPS supervisors

From a consensus that was reached between LAPS and CVT through the PATH Clinical advisor, the 2014 and 2015 "knowledge bringing back" training were combined and facilitated by Dr. Gangsei and Christine Nanyondo in collaboration with LAPS clinical supervisors and administration between July 13-16 2015 in Liberia."

The training was successfully held with about 20 participants made up of LAPS Base supervisors, Regional supervisors, and, Program manager at LAPS head office in Monrovia.

PATH Knowledge Bring Back Training conducted by Dr. David Gangsei (PATH Advisor) and Christine Nanyondo (Psychotherapist Trainer from Uganda) in collaboration with LAPS clinical supervisors and Administration -July 2015.

LAPS is a regular attendee of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s Medical and Psychosocial Pillar meetings.

Additionally, LAPS is a member of the National GBV task force of the Ministry of Gender and Development and , the Psychosocial workers task force of the Ministry of Health (MOH).

LAPS is a member of the National Psychosocial taskforce on Ebola.

LAPS is also a registered member of the Child Protection in Crisis (CPC) Network. The network is composed of numerous international and local NGOs and UN agencies. The goal of the CPC Learning Network is to strengthen and systematize child care and protection in crisis-affected settings through the collaborative action of humanitarian organizations, local institutions and academic partners. The CPC Learning Network aims to inform practice and policy through the use of evidence-based findings.


Sunday, 11th April 2021