In Guinea C4C started working with the agency Fraternité médicale Guinée (FMG) to develop an approach to Sexual and Reproductive health and rights that includes more aspects of the socio-cultural and socio-economical determinants of health. In group discussions women shared their concerns and illustrated how all aspects of life are important to understand how to improve health.
Views on depression show a great variety. Some say the cause is not in our biology but in the way we live. Others believe it is part of the western cultural hegemony, and that Gobal Mental Health is an oxymoron and medical imperialism. Transcultural psychiatry is still a field in development – and sometimes one still hears echoes of primitive insights from the 1950’s.
This ‘long read’ from the Guardian gives a nice overview of developments in ‘global mental health’ over the last decades. At C4C we think we should indeed go further in the direction of recognizing problems in the way people experience them, rather than using labels from psychiatry that often do not work in the countries where they were invented. “We have to redefine what is a psychological intervention, recognising that for many people, their psychological well-being is embedded in their social world,” Vikram Patel is quoted. “It would be almost unreal for a psychological worker in India to say to a woman whose husband beats her: ‘That is not my concern. I’m only concerned with your negative thoughts.’” Indeed!
In Brussels, many migrant women without legal status live in precarious situations while having no or limited access to health care and other basic services. Their access to descent care is mainly hampered by a lack of information, limited financial resources and poor experiences in the past.
Médecins du Monde has asked the support of C4C to help give them the opportunity to re-gain control over their (mental) health. From March till June 2019 we work together with Theatre & Reconciliation, our partner organization and invite migrant women to participate in a theatre production “ Liaisons Joyeuses” that will be developed together with other women and men, professional actors and amateurs. The goal is to make these women proactive, to give them the floor and to get them out of their isolation.
The role of Culture 4 Change within this specific context is to conduct a research action in order to determine whether the method of Theatre & Reconciliation indeed results in feelings of more trust and psychosocial well-being both among the target group and the audience.
Aloys Zongo, Joel Arthur Kiendrebeogo, Willem van Put, Bruno Meessen (on behalf of the working group on Health System & Fragility)
A worrying deterioration of the security situation is underway in several Francophone African countries. Other countries have been stuck for years in a state of instability. The number of so-called 'fragile' contexts is widening. A working group was set up on ‘Collectivity’ to reflect on the issue and propose activities that would help address it. Its members call us to action. In this blog post, they present their initiative.