JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli nongovernmental organization IsraAID opened a training program to deal with gender-based violence for social workers in the fledgling country of South Sudan.
Helen Murshalli, the South Sudanese minister of social development, inaugurated the program in Juba organized by the Israeli assistance group in cooperation with Operation Blessing Israel.
During the 10-day workshop, 29 social workers from the ministry and the local NGO Confident Children out of Conflict will learn how to guide and support survivors of gender-based violence from Juba and the entire Central Equatorial district.
Murshalli praised IsraAID for organizing the training program, and highlighted the historic relationship between Israel and South Sudan, calling for a deepening and strengthening of the ties that connect the two countries.
She also stressed the key role that social workers play in building a stable and healthy nation.
"In Israel, contemporary therapists and trauma specialists are in the unique situation where they are also the founding generation in the field of GBV," said Sheri Oz, a family therapist and trauma specialist who helped pioneer the field of sexual trauma treatment in Israel. "In other Western countries, today’s therapists were most likely trained during a time when treatment frameworks were already in place, but we have experience in establishing services where there previously were none."