It is estimated that 3-7% of the population of South Africa is made up of migrants including refugees and asylum seekers and more than 50% are children and youth. A big proportion of the migrant population has fled conflict in the DRC, Burundi, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. Adults and children alike have experienced significant trauma with many suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health problems. Adolescence is a critical phase of brain development, and traumatic stress during childhood and adolescence has severe neurobiological consequences. Trauma and trauma-related pathologies (such as PTSD or depression) impede developmental tasks of adolescence such as separation-individuation, identity formation, establishment of intimacy, stabilization of body image and maturation of cognitive abilities and structures. Forcibly displaced youth in South Africa are in a particularly vulnerable situation: stressors related to their new living environment, poverty, a dysfunctional asylum process with a backlog of hundreds of thousands leaving families in limbo for many years, xenophobia, bullying and family trauma add to their individual traumatic experiences prior to displacement.
The Adonis Musati Project (AMP) works to empower refugees and migrants to lead resourceful and dignified lives and become agents of change in their communities. It was founded in 2007, by a group of Capetonians who were concerned about the rising levels of xenophobia in South Africa, and named after a Zimbabwean refugee who died of starvation on the streets of Cape Town. Its main objective is to strengthen the psychological wellbeing and resilience of refguees and migrants; equip them with the skills and knowledge to defend their rights and access services and resources, and foster social cohesion and integration. AMP structures its work along eight interconnected programmes: peer support; women empowerment programme; youth empowerment; trauma counselling; victim empowerment; social services; English classes; and community support. AMP is led by Gahlia Brogneri- one of the co-founders of the organization- a counsellor and educator with a long track record working with vulnerable people. AMP is the main implementing partner for the UN High Commission for Refugees in the Western Cape.
EMpower’s 1st grant to AMP is supporting its Youth Empowerment Project and helping 160 young people to address trauma and develop skills to strengthen their resilience. In addition, the grant is supporting the ongoing training of 16 young leaders and their outreach activities to migrant and refugee communities in and around Cape Town. Finally, the grant allows for a small contribution to AMP’s core costs to support them through this challenging period.
Primary Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Funded Since: 2021
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