Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwanda, Africa, hosted a delegation of mental health practitioners from Island Therapy Solutions (ITS) on Monday, Oct. 14 through Wednesday, Oct. 16, where they delivered mental health wellness workshops.
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, located in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is a unique, holistic residential community founded by Anne Heyman in response to the Rwandan Genocide. The youth village is home to 500 Rwandan teenagers and young adults orphaned by violence and AIDS; it provides informal and formal education.
Based on their gender, the youths live in the village with a family, comprised of a family mother, older sibling (alumnus) and a cousin (fellow from foreign nation who teaches them about their world).
Agahozo-Salom Youth Village invited Island Therapy Solutions (ITS) of the U,S. Virgin Islands to deliver mental health wellness workshops to the staff. Dr Lindsy Wagner, owner of ITS, traveled to Kigali with her team, which included Dr. Sophia Joseph Parrilla, Dr. Rita Dudley Grant and Keila Medina, MA. Workshop topics included learning disabilities, mood and behavioral disorders, parenting a child with difficulties, compassion fatigue, self-care and mindfulness.
Considering 2019 marks the 25th year since the Rwandan Genocide, ITS also presented on trauma as many of the staff participants were impacted by the genocide. The Virgin Islanders connected with the families during their mealtimes and had the opportunity to interact with the youth.
“The workshops were informative and interactive, and staff was encouraged to practice the skills,” said Dr. Wagner. “The presentations were so successful that we have committed to deliver monthly Zoom presentations to ASYV. We are honored to partner with this incredible team, and look forward to supporting the work they’re doing with the students whom they serve.”
About ASYV: Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, opened in 2008 by social entrepreneur Anne Heyman, was built to provide Rwanda’s most vulnerable youth with a place to heal and the tools to flourish so that they can invigorate their communities and launch Rwanda to a new level of social and economic success. Modeled after the youth villages Israel established after the Holocaust, the ASYV was founded with the belief that the people who ultimately rebuild Rwanda will come from the approximately 2.6 million orphaned and vulnerable youth in the country. Following graduation, these young adults will return to their villages for entrepreneurial pursuits, enter university to pursue professional degrees, seek out immediate jobs or enroll in other continuing educational programs. For further information, contact Jacqueline Jaubert at 646-381-7863 or [email protected].
About ITS: Island Therapy Solutions is a multi-dimensional practice that provides the following mental health services: Psychological services including individual therapy, group therapy and neuropsychological evaluations. It also offers psychiatric services. physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, adult autism services, pediatric ABA therapy and academic tutoring. For more information about the partnership, contact Keila Medina at 719-7007; for information about ITS, visit: http://islandtherapysolutions.com.