Many torture survivor rehabilitation centers in the U.S. strive to recreate a home-like atmosphere for clients – from hanging indigenous textiles on the walls to displaying small handicrafts from around the world.
Recently, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has apprehended nearly 63,000 unaccompanied children at the border since October 2013. The vast majority of the children are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and are fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries.
Inspiring Patients, Traumatic Stories: Finding Balance at Libertas
By Valerie Thompson, CVT volunteer
When you speak with Dr. Dinali Fernando you get the impression that she thrives in a certain controlled chaos. You know immediately that she is enthusiastic, animated and very, very passionate.
Dr. Dinali Fernando, Libertas Center for Human RightsDr. Dinali Fernando, MD, MPH is the Medical Director of the Libertas Center for Human Rights in Queens, New York, as well as an Attending Physician in the Emergency Department at Elmhurst Hospital and an Assistant Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. It was while doing a graduate internship in immigrant and refugee health in medical school that Dr. Fernando’s long-term career goals came into focus.
“The Garden of Healing at the Center for Victims of Torture symbolizes our mission: hope, healing and renewal,” says Holly Ziemer, CVT’s Director of Communications. “Plants, like people, go through cycles that present challenges and opportunities.
“From the depths of despair, loss of hope, separation from family, fears of being rejected for asylum and being sent back to dangerous environments, to hope, confidence and joy.” This is how Ben Kohler describes the changes he sees in the clients he volunteers with.
Need help that's specific to your client's culture or country of origin? Check out our Specific Populations information. See especially the IRCT's country factsheets for essential information on torture including victims' and perpetrators' profiles, the availability of rehabilitation services, the applicable legal framework, as well as key recommendations, priorities and concerns. Also handy are NPCT's country condition reports.
To stay up to date on the latest literature in the torture treatment field, review the most recent PATH bibliography. It includes peer reviewed journal article citations in these areas; select original summaries of those articles; and links to the publicly available abstracts and full text versions of these articles.