We survey participants prior to the implementation of our programs and after. The following results only give a glimpse of the changes we are witnessing. The empirical evidence, though important, falls short in creating a full picture of the transformation participants and communities experience. Nonetheless, the evidence is important for understanding the types of change that are occurring.
Change in Attitudes
We have found significant changes in behavior and attitudes toward different ethnic groups or groups perceived as “other.”
“I [now] mingle with people from different clans.”
Quraca Nabadda Participant, Somalia
“I am more trusting of my neighbours now and helpful towards them.”
Kumekuca Participant, Kenya
We have also found significant changes in the belief in force as a means of resolving differences. In sample of 153 participants in the Quraca Nabadda program in Somalia there was a significant decrease in the percentage of participants who favored fighting for defending clan interests.
We have found that post-intervention participants favor more restorative means of justice for perpetrators of violent crimes. In a sample of 350 participants of the Kumekucha program on the coast of Kenya, the percentage of respondents who chose rehabilitation and forgiveness or perpetrators increased.
Change in Behavior
Participants of the programs are taught tools for emotional regulation and stress relief.
A group of 20 women leaders from Somalia after participating the Trauma Informed Resilience program reported regularly using tools taught in the program.
Which healing practice have you incorporated? (Number)
Meditation - 12
Breathing exercises - 6
Transforming negative thoughts into positive thoughts - 5
Change in levels of Distress and Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms
This group of women leaders in Somalia who adopted meditation and other exercises taught in the TIR program, experienced a significant decrease in levels of distress. Symptoms of distress according to the scale used include symptoms related stress, anxiety and depression.
Participants are experiencing decreases in symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. For example, in a sample of 153 Quraca Nabadda in Somalia, 36% met the criteria for PTSD. After participating in the program there was a significant decrease in 9 out of the 16 symptoms on the PTSD scale.
Care for Study Participants
Our team takes great care of the populations we serve in the studies conducted. Emphasis is being given to create a culture of respect for study participants that is too often lacking in program assessments in the NGO world. As we work with vulnerable populations, we have a team of psychologist in Nairobi conducting our survey interviews, we have strict guidelines for study participants’ consent and a system that ensures respondents’ confidentiality. We hope to promote awareness in the NGO world regarding care for assessment-participants and their rights.