Today is February 27, 2015 almost one month since I arrived to Chicago. Illinois the biggest state in north part of US, people like to call Chicago the heartland because of the geographical location. I started my fellowship at my host organization Heartland Alliance International HAI since January 26th, as far as cold is concern and restricting city life partly people in Chicago people very warm welcoming nicely with the new comer specially American. Heartland Alliance has been working with displaced and vulnerable people in the United States since 1888 Including impoverished communities, refugees, torture survivors, migrants, and victims of trafficking. Over ten years ago, Heartland Alliance launched an international strategy and was rapidly successful in providing quality services to targeted populations; Heartland Alliance International was formed as a separate organization in July 2012 and Marjorie Kovler Center become part of. Home – Heartland Alliance International
Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder Mental health – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to World Health Organization (WHO) nearly half of the world’s populations are affected by mental illness with an impact on their self-esteem, relationships and ability to function in everyday life.
Marjorie Kovler Center at Chicago established by Peter Kovler donation almost 28 years ago at 1987 to serve and treat vulnerable refugees from different part of the world in Chicago survivors of torture through improving their mental health, enhance their capacity to provide for themselves and their families, and gain access to trained and sensitized government and legal services.
Kovler center providing services for 350 torture survivors every year. Thursday February 26, 2015, with my colleagues from HAI visited the center and I have had such great opportunity to attend very interesting session held by Mary Lynn Everson Senior Director, Marjorie Kovler Center. Marjorie Kovler Center helps transform the live of individuals recovering from the complex consequences of torture. As mentioned Kovler Center provides medical, mental health, and social services; trains and educates locally and globally; and advocates for the end of torture worldwide. Kovler Center received cases from different countries i.e. Cameroon, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nigeria and Moldova most of them seeking safety from detention and torture through asylum (59%). Some of the unique servies that Kovler center is giving screening assessment, comprehensive mental, health intake assessment, physical examination, individual treatment plan, psychotherapy, counseling, forensic assessment, testimony in court, art and music therapy, group therapy and crisis services. This kind of services means too much, means hope of new life and new chance for many people felt from their home countries due many political reasons Marjorie Kovler Center – Heartland Alliance.
It is worth to mention that survivors of torture in US control area issue not addressed as should yet, Mary Lynn working very hard to improve with many people including senate members of Illinoi. I would like to end this blog by quoting what Amnesty international survivors of torture survey documents 98 countries as practicing torture What We Do | Amnesty International I believe that one of the most voluble and important idea is replicating what HAI does in our countries perhaps our continents for better world. Mary Luyn, Kovler Center senior director, with Luel (originally form Eritrea) from heartland Alliance international finance team working very hard to secure funding in order to keep this center open and able to intake more participants but whenever you ask one of them for some sort of support or information they give it to you in so lenience way while they are super busy, I believe that this kind of human right workers this world is need for and with this kind of people this world will be better for the human being to life on, I would thanks all both of them, Kovler center staff, volunteer and all heartland alliance intentional for suck kind of support and hospitality.
Finally I hope this blog find all of Atlas family (fellows, alumni, staff and board) fine and warm.