EQUITAS is a Colombian organization focused on the search of the people missing, as a result of the violence impacting the country in the last decades. It develops forensic and psychosocial community work to support the families of the disappeared.
QPASTT is a community based, statewide not for profit organisation. It provides specialized services to people and communities from refugee backgrounds survivors of torture and trauma. QPASTT services are flexible, free, confidential and culturally sensitive.
QPASTT invited Arancha García (Equitas), to talk at its Symposium in Brisbane in March 2018. Fernanda Torresi (QPASTT) travelled to Colombia in May 18, and she had a number of meetings and delivered a successful workshop with Equitas staff, on Trauma Impact, Counselling Techniques and Help to Helpers.
The need for collaboration and the exchange of mutual learnings that emerged at the First QPASTT Symposium continues to progress, and in this co-presentation, we would like to share our experiences and thoughts on some of the similarities and differences between the ways of working around collective complex grief and complex trauma, caring techniques for staff, and overall the implementation of community approaches and the cultural challenges faced in our work in two different continents. While this is currently a work in progress, the exchange of experiences occurring is enabling EQUITAS and QPASTT to continue the relationship between the two organizations.
The methodology is comparative and qualitative, focusing on the description of the working methods used in both organisational settings, around psychosocial support (from a community approach) and help to helper’s techniques when working on collective trauma. Ultimately we plan to strengthen our networks and develop workshops and other knowledge exchanges, to better support both the people we work alongside and the staff from both organisations.