Community Engagement in Kabusa Village: Reducing Stigma and Supporting Torture Survivors (RESSTOR)

We are pleased to share the success of our recent community engagement initiative that took place on March 27, 2024, in Kabusa Village, Abuja, Nigeria. Under the theme ‘Reducing Stigma and Supporting Torture Survivors (RESSTOR),’ the project aimed to raise awareness, provide support, and empower community members regarding torture, legal rights, and psychosocial well-being. This event was implemented by the dedicated team members of the Legend Golden Care Foundation (LGCF) with support from the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and United Against Torture, with funding from the European Union.   The morning session began with meticulous arrangements made by our team to ensure a smooth and impactful session. Beneficiaries were warmly welcomed, and attendance was carefully recorded. The focus of the morning session was on legal and psychosocial support services. Legal experts from LGCF addressed questions related to rights, legal processes, and access to justice, providing much-needed guidance. Trained counsellors offered valuable psychosocial support, discussing emotional well-being, coping strategies, and trauma management.   The afternoon session continued seamlessly, with personalized attention and assistance provided to beneficiaries. Mrs. Kanayo Olisa-Metuh, the Executive Director and Founder of LGCF delivered a welcome address, highlighting the purpose of our visit to the community. Distinguished professionals, including representatives from the Committee Against Torture Nigeria (CATN), the Inspector General of Police, the Controller General of Corrections, the National Human Rights Commission, and the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, shared their goodwill messages. Mrs. Ogechi Ogu, a guest speaker, discussed the implications of torture on individuals and families, encouraging participants to share their experiences.   The engagement fostered active participation from attendees, who openly shared their experiences and concerns. Awareness about available resources and avenues for seeking help was emphasized, empowering community members to take charge of their well-being. To foster a sense of unity and identity, branded T-shirts and face caps were distributed, which participants proudly wore, symbolizing their commitment to the cause.   The impact and reach of the community engagement were significant. A total of 150 beneficiaries participated, with a notable presence of women and children, highlighting the inclusive approach of the project. By providing legal guidance, psychosocial support, and a platform for dialogue, we have taken an important step towards reducing stigma and supporting torture survivors in Kabusa Village.   We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the stakeholders, community members, and partners who contributed to the success of this event. Together, we will continue to strive for a society that upholds the rights and well-being of all, working towards the healing, justice, and reintegration of torture survivors.

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