Peer Support Programmes

 

The Adonis Musati Project's Peer Support Group Programme offers psychological support and practical resources to disenfranchised refugee and asylum seeker communities within Cape Town.

Through this intervention, AMP empowers individuals and equips them with the skills needed to transition to self-reliance and lead positive, meaningful lives. 

The Peer Support Group Programme also seeks to build sustainable support systems within the wider refugee and migrant community.


To all the survivours out there, I want them to know that we are stronger and more resilient then we ever knew. We survived, that should be enough but it isn’t. We must work hard to become whole again, to fill our soul with love and inspiration, to live the life that was intended for us before it was disrupted by war and horrors, and help rebuild a world that is better than the one we had just left.
— Loung Ung, Refugee

THE NEED

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 50% of refugees suffer from mental health problems including trauma and stress, as a result of having endured conflict and massive human rights violations. Many African refugees are fleeing from areas where sexual violence and mass atrocities are amongst the worst in the world.

Through our work with vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in Cape Town, AMP has seen the detrimental effects that such traumatic experiences have on an individual.

 

OUR RESPONSE

Based on extensive research and experience, and in response to the existing shortage of professional psycho-social services for the refugee population, AMP developed our Peer Support Group Programme, which utilises and builds on existing resources of skilled individuals from within the refugee and asylum seeker community and empowers them to deliver services to their peers. 

 

HOW THE PROGRAMME WORKS

AMP selects skilled individuals from the asylum seeker, refugee and migrant communities who then participate in a specially designed training programme that equips Peer Counsellors to facilitate our support groups across Cape Town.

Each support group consists of 12 sessions and focusses on processing past and present trauma, developing the life-skills essential for transitioning to self-reliance and building a support network amongst group members. The sessions also incorporate practical information regarding availability of local community resources and organisations that offer services to refugees, as well as education on legal rights of refugees and gender rights, thus empowering participants to be active agents in their futures.

As an extension to the support group, AMP offers all participants access to our Pathway to Health programme, which offers free health tests and screenings administered by medical professionals, as well as access to individual trauma counselling should participants need it. Access to basic paralegal advice is offered to participants on an individual basis.


The programme has changed my life. It has shaped me. I am confident and I can move with my head high now. I used to walk with a lot of problems. Now I can see where I’m going and I’m focussed. I can talk to anyone. I am free.
I learnt that all women have rights... to work, to speak up when something is wrong… I have to speak up and stand up for myself.
I came to understand that, the problems I am facing, it’s not just me alone. I’ve learnt a lot in coming to this programme. You can learn from other people and how they have dealt with their own challenges. And it helped me to be able to come into the open and share my experiences.