Solthis Therapeutic Solidarity and Initiatives for Health

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Training for better care of gender-based violence victims in West and Central Africa

23 August 2022 |  Informations

COTE D'IVOIREGUINEANIGERSENEGALCAPACITY BUILDINGCapacity building and empowermentPromoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

From August 2 to 6, 2022, a training session was held in Saly, Senegal, for health workers and community actors, to improve the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV) and the care of survivors in Senegal, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and Niger. The training was organized by Solthis teams in collaboration with our Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights projects (SRHR): SANSAS, which aims to improve the reproductive health of young people in Senegal, PAJES in Guinea, which targets the strengthening of civil society actors on SRHR of adolescents and youth, JADES In Niger, which contributes to the reduction of new HIV infections and unwanted pregnancies among adolescents , and the POUVOIR and AGIR projects in Côte d’Ivoire, which are structured around issues of self-care in SRH and target adolescents, youth and sex workers.



Responding to an emergency in the fight against gender-based violence

The training was organized as part of the strengthening of Solthis’ intervention strategy in sexual and reproductive health. Indeed, often faced with a lack of actors and services specialized in the care of survivors of gender-based violence, the overexposure of certain groups more specifically targeted by Solthis (sex workers, people living with HIV, youth and adolescents…) as well as the increasing demand from its partners and teams, the need to set up training sessions was crucial. Solthis therefore decided to lauch these trainings to strengthen the expertise of its teams and partners in order to support the responses in place in the countries where Solthis intervene.

The training from August 2 to 6 was designed to address the main standards of care, the principles of first-line support, and to allow for the implementation of community activities and orientation of survivors of gender-based violence.




When and how to intervene in gender-based violence cases

The participants addressed different issues including

  • Identifying the signs that could lead to the suspicion of GBV
  • How to welcome and deal with survivors (safety, confidentiality, non-discrimination, respect).

The training also allowed us to develop and define certain intervention tools, mapping of the main steps and an action plan for the implementation of a referral and coordination system for situations of gender-based violence and cycles of awareness-raising sessions on gender-based violence for civil society.


Finally, the training also allowed us to work on the support of frontline teams in the face of stress, trauma and confidentiality issues.

In addition, a collaboration with the Senegalese theater group Melokaan1 was set up as part of this training for one and a half days, to allow for the implementation of role-playing exercises in community awareness activities and the reception of survivors in care facilities.



Constructive exchanges and sustainability to be ensured

According to Aurélie Musca Philipps, trainer and sexual and reproductive health referent at Solthis, “The four days of training took place in an atmosphere and space of trust and voluntary sharing. The exchanges were rich and a wide variety of subjects were covered. The positioning tests show a clear improvement in the teams’ degree of confidence concerning their knowledge and their ability to implement activities and training on the subject. In addition to these contributions, the training allowed for numerous exchanges of experience between teams from different projects, which are at different stages and levels of implementation.

In order to consolidate the achievements of this training and to continue to strengthen and develop the expertise of Solthis and its partners in the area of response to GBV, other training sessions are planned, in particular a level 2 on GBV, as well as post-training follow-up actions and team support to ensure the adaptation of the teams and the sustainability of the training. Additional level 2 modules, as well as other training sessions on gender-based violence, should also be provided in 2023 through the various sexual and reproductive health projects led by Solthis: SANSAS, POUVOIR, AGIR, PAJES





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