To increase knowledge, agricultural productivity, and income of smallholder farmers in East Africa and to remove additional barriers for youth and women to access economic opportunities.
KadAfrica envisions a world where young women in East Africa have increased financial independence and are economic drivers in their communities. Kad is scaling its impact to include refugee beneficiaries, a highly trauma-exposed population. Emotional trauma creates significant functional challenges to survivors, inhibiting learning and development which prevents trauma-exposed beneficiaries from utilizing what they learn in the Kad Experience program. Adding a trauma management curriculum will help Kad sustainably increase the holistic wellbeing and agency of their beneficiaries.
To develop the trauma management curriculum, we interviewed refugee and Ugandan beneficiaries about their experiences relating to trauma and mental health. Utilizing an evidence-based curriculum to teach the girls trauma management will increase Kad’s impact in helping girls achieve holistic health, wellness, and agency.
- Beneficiaries had minimal stigma about mental health. We found beneficiaries were most open about mental health challenges in a group setting, and were comfortable sharing their experiences in interviews; contrary to past research we found no stigma.
- Relationships play an important role in the mental health of beneficiaries. All Ugandan beneficiaries we interviewed reported having social support and nearly all of them preferred dealing with their emotions with others. Almost all of the Congolese refugees reported losing family members and reported no social support.
Trauma Management Curriculum.To increase healthy coping and reduce trauma symptoms for KadAfrica beneficiaries, we created a comprehensive curriculum guide based on our main research findings. It includes activities, tools, and information to be delivered by the cluster coaches to help promote mental health hygiene and coping skills for beneficiaries. This will help KadAfrica holistically increase the wellness, agency, and quality of life for their beneficiaries as they continue their microenterprises.