Risks of Mines, MHPSS in Maban
27 October 2022|Emmanuel Loboka
Photo caption: Sharon Rose Ataget, JRS Mental Health & Psychosocial Coordinator Assistant during the workshop at Doro refugee camps -Maban
In April 2022 in Doro refugee camp, Maban (South Sudan) six children between the ages of 6 to 12 years old were exposed to a mine explosion. That led to the killing of four and the injury of two others who ended up in the hospital. The children are all from one family, cousins, and brothers. They were in a nearby forest roaming with the family beast when the incident occurred.
The incident shocked the whole refugee community at all the refugee camps around the country. The accident affected everyone in the refugee community in Doro refugee camp. The news reached all the other refugee camps, and the member of the family who eyewitness the incident is in great shock and traumatized.
Our psychosocial support team in JRS Maban did a visit to the families of the children, to give support and comfort, to accompany the family through that difficult time.
During the visit, we met a young girl member of the family. She had seen it all:
“They were playing with explosives. They claimed to open it and use it as a bell and tie it to the animal’s neck. When I saw it, I hide it from them, and I went to collect firewood. After some time, I heard an explosion. It was frightening. When I arrived, I found them all fallen. I screamed and ran and then I don’t know what happened…”.
“I could not bear to see them, I was shocked, unable to comprehend. I went far from the location, and I had not been able to go back to where it all happened. It was terrifying”.
JRS team in partnership with UNHCR, Save the Children, and the G4S Group of Companies, rolled out a community awareness on Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO). The G4S identifies and removes explosive remnants of war, working with communities to understand the risks they pose.
We were glad to have them with us, for training the attendees on explosives and its risks, and to always protect themselves. The team did great work with the refugee community in Doro about the types of endemics and how to get rid of them.
JRS conducted a grief and trauma workshop for the community members’ Healing sessions at Doro refugee camps. Targeting the families of the victims and the refugee community, also as the eyewitnesses to the accident. In preparation for a practicing educative program for everyone who was affected by the accident, in anticipation of the post-traumatic strike resulting in displacement and the experience of the war. Especially focused on women and children.
JRS organized a workshop session which was attended by all the family members of the children affected by the mine explosion. The aim is to find out symptoms they might be exposed to as traumatic and to provide suggestions and solutions.
The rehabilitation program continued partnering with Cordaid and Maban’s Ministry of Health in the provision of physiotherapy services to patients in Bunj Hospital. The patients in hospitals needed physio exercises and treatment plans while in the hospitals, and after being discharged. Going forward, JRS will continue advocating for partners’ collaboration in all sectors to achieve greater results in service provision.