On October 12, 13 and 14, in Burundi a three-day workshop took place. The workshop was the last of four, funded by PSO. The objective of this overall project was the exchange of experience and expertise within the field of Mental Health and Psychosocial Care, between countries of the Great Lake District. Aim of this last workshop was to reach a common understanding of opportunities and challenges in adopting HealthNet TPO’s overall approach with regard to the implementation of programmes in Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan.
Experts from other countries, like Rwanda and Uganda, were invited in order to broaden the horizon of HealthNet TPO and to learn from different programme approaches. Some 25 participants presented their programmes, achievements and challenges; priority areas within each specific country have been identified and a start has been made to develop longer term strategies. Besides the introduction of the Health System approach, the concept of ‘community mobilization’ as currently developed at headquarters was presented. The different exercises during the workshop made clear that a regular exchange between countries - but also between staff members of various programmes within a country - is needed in order to implement activities in an effective and sustainable way.