HealthNet TPO is the result of a merger between Healthnet International (HNI) and the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO). Both organizations already had existing field offices in several countries. TPO worked with local partner organisation CVICT in Nepal and in 2005 a TPO Nepal office was established with expertise in mental health and psychosocial programmes.
The Centre for Victims of Torture
The Centre for Victims of Torture (CVICT) is a Nepalese non-governmental health and human rights organization experienced in psychosocial counselling provision and training. CVICT conducts regular mobile clinics in changing and often remote communities to reach out to and care for torture survivors. In 1992, CVICT worked within the Bhutanese refugee camps to support female torture survivors, aiming at skill-based peer support as well as identification and referral mechanisms. In 1994, on the request of UNHCR, CVICT continued activities within the camps, focusing on community based rehabilitation programmes for torture survivors (medical and psychosocial).
Between 1996 and 1998, the Amsterdam-based Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) started a programme in Nepal to uplift the care and conduct research at CVICT, focusing mainly on Bhutanese refugees. As part of this project, the Nepalese CVICT counsellors studied and adapted the WHO/UNHCR Mental Health of Refugees manual. During this time, an expatriate professional was a resource person, and he introduced various psychosocial interventions. Additionally, extensive scientific research was conducted on the mental health issues related to the Bhutanese refugees, resulting in several articles in esteemed international journals.
Since 2000 till 2004 TPO expatriate professionals have been active within CVICT to focus on training and supervising native Nepalese counsellors. This led to the development and implementation of a 5-month internship programme to thoroughly train several hundreds of counsellors for a variety of target groups including, torture survivors, children in especially difficult circumstances, children in the worst forms of child labour, children in armed conflict and trafficked adolescents. These training courses culminated in a one-year Post Graduate Diploma Course in Psychosocial Counselling, developed and run by CVICT/TPO under the School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHAS), affiliated to the Purbhanchal University (2003).
HealthNet TPO and TPO Nepal
In 2005 TPO Nepal was founded (by HealthNet TPO) as an independent organization and developed gradually its own programmes of intervention. HealthNet TPO supported this programme development through several joint projects such as the Child Thematic Project in, the Community and School based Psychosocial Care Program for Children in Areas of Armed Conflict and Victims of Torture, and the project for Psychosocial and Victims of Torture Care Component of the UJYALO Project. Furthermore, since its inception, HealthNet TPO has supported the local program through continued support in project acquisition, capacity building, joint research projects and quality control. HealthNet TPO also supported a capacity building consultancy for organizational development of TPO Nepal in 2007-2009.
HealthNet TPO has long standing relations in Nepal, dated from before the merger of HealthNet International and TPO. In 2005 TPO Nepal transitioned to an independent organization, and since gradually developed its own programmes of intervention. HealthNet TPO supported this programme development through several joint projects, such as the Child Thematic Project.
The latest programme of HealthNet TPO in Nepal was the ‘Field-test HESPER Scale Programme’ that closed at the end of 2010. This programme (with main donor WHO) was executed in close collaboration with our research department, aiming to field test a new developed scale. Currently, there are no active projects in Nepal. However, TPO Nepal’s own (independent) programme development is large.
See www.tponepal.org/ for more information for their current programmes.