STARTTS, Wagga Wagga, Australia
Single Congolese ‘women at risk’ resettled in a regional Australian town are assisted by participation in a group that combines a focus on eastern-African worldview cultural strengths and cultural ideas of healing, women’s empowerment strategies, and Westernworldview
evidence-informed strategies for trauma healing.
Community consultation identified particular needs and vulnerabilities faced by single Congolese women resettling in a regional town. Community development principles, including consultation with single Congolese women who are natural leaders and working alongside the group member’s to realise their own wellbeing goals were the primary basis for the group formation and structure. A research developed conceptual model based on Congolese women’s reports in the literature of what had helped them recover from the impact of conflict-related sexual violence, supported development of the group program.
Program evaluation focuses on what the women report has assisted their wellbeing. The achievements and benefits of the program and specific outcomes are presented.