About Global Trauma Project (GTP)
Global Trauma Project builds capacity for healing, empowerment, and transformation by training, mentoring and certifying community providers to prevent and treat the impacts of complex trauma, compounded stress and childhood adversity.
What is "complex trauma"? Complex trauma includes many kinds of adverse experiences that overwhelm a person's capacity to cope. Some examples include: sexual/ gender-based violence, abuse and child neglect, war/ community violence, historical slavery/ genocide, recruitment into extremism or sexual exploitation, loss of caregivers, etc. In addition, "compounded stress" is the excessive build-up of stress that can become toxic and create significant negative impacts on a person's well-being or community. Adversity can include additional types of impactful experiences such as living in poverty, systemic racism, bullying, gender inequality, unemployment, etc.
GTP's unique model provides capacity-building support to both organizations and community-based workers, ensuring the change happens on both systemic and local levels.
GTP works in three ways:
1) GTP Innovation Lab for Best Practice
We believe that local experts should be at the forefront of development initiatives. The Innovation Lab supports national coalitions to strengthen and showcase Best Practices in the fields of: Mental Health/ Psycho-Social Support, Education/ Child Development, & Peace-Building/ Conflict Transformation. Partners in the Innovation Lab receive support through assessment, training, mentorship, fundraising, impact evaluation, and visibility.
2) Organization Support: Training & Program Development
GTP also works to support NGOs and UN agencies in reducing the impacts of stress and adversity amongst staff, volunteers and communities. Through organizational & program assessment, program design, staff support, training and consultation, we work to strengthen outcomes of programs working in MHPSS, Education & Pace-Building.
3) Individual & Community Wellness
GTP network partners curently offer high quality wellness services for individuals, families and communities in Kenya, South Sudan & Ethiopia. Please contact us for referrals or more information.
GTP utilizes a cutting-edge, evidence-based framework- "Trauma-Informed Community Empowerment" (TICE.) The TICE framework underpins policy and practice in the field, supporting local partners to take the lead in their own healing, and strengthening community level resilience. We focus on supporting trusted, local providers such as: community/ religious leaders, child protection staff, teachers, police, coaches & community health workers, to ensure that those working with the most challenging issues are well supported so that they can have the greatest impact possible.
Who We Are
Coming together from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, our skilled team of professionals is the backbone of Global Trauma Project. Their ideas help shape the direction and mission of our organization as it continues to develop. Read on to learn more about some of our incredible team members.
Ilya Yacevich, MA, LMFT, is founding director of the Global Trauma Project, (GTP) based in Nairobi, Kenya. Ms. Yacevich is developer of the “Trauma-Informed Community Empowerment” (TICE) framework, which is currently being used as a foundation in supporting Nationwide Trauma Healing Initiatives in South Sudan and Somalia. The framework is also being used in Kenya and Ethiopia in strengthening school systems and community-based programs.
For over two decades, Ms. Yacevich has specialized in working with children and families with histories of complex and inter-generational trauma, and provided organizational consultation/ program development in a variety of settings, including clinics, residential treatment centers, shelters, schools, NGOs, and community-based programs. She is an Ashoka Fellow, and an American- Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (New York State), and holds as master’s degree from St. Mary’s University, USA and post-graduate training in International Trauma Studies and Traumatic Stress Studies. She has special interest in international/ cultural issues pertaining to mental health, and in strengthening trauma-informed supports with communities where infrastructure is lacking.
Anita Shankar, MPH, believes access to relevant mental health resources is a social justice issue. As Senior Director of the Global Trauma Project, she utilizes the Trauma-Informed Community Empowerment (TICE) Framework to build the capacity of community leaders and government officials. Ms. Shankar’s 20 years of public health experience is influenced by the fields of popular education, youth development, harm reduction, and positive sexuality. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, USA and Bachelor’s in International Development from the University of California, Berkeley, USA.
Ann Wahinya is an experienced Program Manager with 15 years’ experience in designing, implementing and managing development programs, grants management, organization capacity development and monitoring & evaluation. She has technical expertise implementing programs with a key focus on Orphans & Vulnerable Children, Youth and Adolescent Girls & Young Women. Ann holds a Master of Arts Degree in Development Studies and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics (Major) and Sociology (Minor).
Tigist Waltenigus, MA, is a Clinical Psychologist, Ashoka Fellow, and Lead Trainer with Global Trauma Project. She is Director of Posterity Psychological Therapy & Training Center and Erk Mead Media in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she delivers training, consultation and therapeutic support to women, children, and families in Ethiopia. For the past 13 years, Erk Mead has hosted two multi award-winning radio programs providing public education on issues pertaining to women, families, mental health and trauma/ gender-based violence. Erk Mead/ Posterity Psychological is GTP's country partner in Ethiopia.
Condition Emmanuel Enosa, BA, is a GTP Lead Trainer. His birth place and ancestral village (Mundu) in South Sudan used to be a trading center for agriculture produce; it is now deserted and vandalized after years of conflict. During the war, he was able to cross the border into Uganda. There he finished his schooling, became a primary school teacher, earned a Diploma in Primary Education by Kampala International University (KIU), and later a Bachelor of Education. He returned to South Sudan to train teachers through the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Since joining GTP, Condition has used his teaching and personal experience to create awareness about the impacts of trauma and stress. In addition to serving as Lead Trainer, he mentors participants to facilitate community workshops.
Women's Program Consultant
Rosaia Ruberto, M.A. is a Gender & Women Empowerment Expert, and leads the Women's Programming at Global Trauma Project. Ms. Ruberto has over 20 years experience working in International Development. She has worked as Country Coordinator in Somalia, and Regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa on humanitarian and development initiatives. An Italian-native, Ms. Ruberto is also a certified Raja Dhiraja Yoga Teacher, Women's Coach, and Kinesthetic and Systemic Practitioner. She is founder of Yemaya Women's Soul Flow Events- monthly gatherings for Women across cultures to connect with themselves, build a collective network of sisterhood, and strengthen their own inner radiance.
Wendy D'Andrea, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the New School for Social Research, USA. She is director of the Trauma and Affective Psychophysiology Lab at the New School, where her research focuses on the differences between acute trauma, such as an auto accident or single-incident assault, and chronic trauma, such as sustained physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Her lab investigates how information processes, especially attention and cognition, are impacted by prolonged trauma exposure and re-shaped through therapeutic interventions. Ms. D'Andrea is particularly interested in the physiological signature of chronic trauma, and uses measures of autonomic reactivity such as heart rate, skin conductance, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), to investigate these differences. Through their partnership with Global Trauma Project, Ms. D'Andrea and her Lab lead GTP's research team, assessing outcome data and conducting impact evaluation.
Dau Dhieu Kon is a South Sudanese actor, poet, scriptwriter, and theatre practitioner. He spent much of his youth in northern Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee camp, where he was a member of a drama club. After completing his high school, he returned to South Sudan and became involved in various theatre training and youth activities. He later obtained a Diploma in Theatre Arts and Film Technology from Kenyatta University in Nairobi.Being a refugee gave Dau the drive to bring change to the disadvantaged communities in the war-devastated state of Jonglei, South Sudan. Mr. Khon is Foun der and Director of a community based organization called Kreative Nile that uses theatre for development and social change. His passion is to use tools such as participatory theatre so young people can think positively about their future, and stop violence, abuse and conflict within their communities. As Assistant Trainer with GTP, Dau uses his community knowledge and creative energy to support providers throughout South Sudan.
Artist & Assistant Trainer
James Aguer Garang-Tungadiit is a professional artist and Assistant Trainer with GTP. Using wisdom from his own life experiences, Aguer's paintings have made the TICE program in South Sudan a very personal experience for participants. In 1987, Aguer left for Ethiopia with the SPLA as part of the child soldiers known as the Red Army. He left his homeland cattle camps to Ethiopia with the promise of education. His father was crafts man, and used his skill to make beds and chairs, and to curve the horns of living cattle into curved, coiled and beautiful shapes. He would do this by cutting the horns of the cattle at an angle. People would walk up to two days for their cattle’s horns to be crafted by James’ father. James is sure that this artistic spirit of his father lives on in him. “It is in my blood”.
James urges people to "stick to their gifting. People should do anything they are willing and gifted to do to help their people. In South Sudan drawing matters because most people cannot read or write – but drawings can communicate." Anyone in South Sudan who experiences the TICE program knows about the power and personal connection brought through the images created by Mr. Aguer.
Ms. Musa is a GTP Assistant Trainer, based in Bor, South Sudan. She has an extensive background in community work, especially focused on Women's Empowerment. Ms. Musa works with the South Sudan Ministry of Education, supporting girl's education, and is part of the Women's Leadership committee in Bor.
Communications & Development Consultant
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GTP Board of Advisors
Lou Bergholz, M.A.
Managing Partner & Founder