The year 2012 is coming to an end already. While the cliché says that time seems to fly, this does not hold true for those of us that seem to be stuck in endless cycles of poverty where much wanted change is difficult to achieve. When looking at the situation of the poorest groups in Cambodia this certainly seems to be so. In the north-western part of the country we are helping local NGOs in their search for more effective interventions to stop violence. The level of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups such as the mentally and physically handicapped is stunning. Violence is not limited to husbands who are desperate because they cannot find ways to make an income and support their families, start drinking and beat up their wives. Daily violence is also in structures that dominate society. Where conflict has destroyed those parts of local culture and tradition that protect the vulnerable, people suffer the consequences of greed in the new type of economic wilderness that often comes with rebuilding society.
In this newsletter you’ll find some examples of how we try to mitigate these effects. Building mutual trust is a condition for rebuilding a safe society, which is what needs to be done in Burundi and Sudan. In Asia, HealthNet TPO works together with e number of first class research institutes to come to the most effective way of extending mental health services. These activities in the field are supported by a board that is strengthened with the entry of a new treasurer, Jaap Gelderloos. We hope you will enjoy the update!