Psycho-social support

Psycho-social support

With a holistic view to the ability to act

terre des hommes schweiz has been working successfully since the mid-1990s in countries whose people are marked by disease, poverty and violence. The focus of the work is a holistic view of individual problems and the social environment. Only in this way can psychological and social support help those affected to regain hope and become capable members of their community.

Girls give each other confirmation in a workshop by Ee'qanil.
Only when the helplessness is overcome can young people take their fate into their own hands.

The lives of people in the countries of the South are often marked by illness, poverty, violence, natural disasters and the violation of human rights. These are living conditions that greatly increase susceptibility to stigma, marginalization, impoverishment, experiences of violence and violations of rights. Those affected are thus caught up in a spiral of impoverishment. With the help of psychological and social methods (Psychosocial support - PSS) you can break the spiral. The success of these methods is based on the fact that they take into account both the individual psychological aspects of a person and his or her social environment (his or her relationships, family, community, social values and culture) from the very beginning. Only with this kind of support can those affected regain hope of being able to determine their own lives again.

Girls who are married to older men against their will - women and children who experience domestic or sexual violence - children and adolescents who are infected with HIV and have to take medication for the rest of their lives - children and adolescents who head a child's household - they all experience experiences at the limits of their psychological resilience. They feel powerless and helpless. Surrendering to fate, they lose faith in themselves and hope that they can change their lives for the better. Trapped in this hopelessness, they often isolate themselves or adopt very aggressive behaviour patterns. Their only chance is to process their experiences to regain their dignity. Only then can they regain courage and become capable of acting.
For children and adolescents who have been traumatised, it is important that our project partners receive individual support and psychological counselling. The aim is to overcome the assaults suffered, as well as the psychological and physical injuries. The individual work leads them to the point of no longer perceiving themselves exclusively as victims, helplessly at the mercy of their fate. Instead, they see themselves as a new person with many strengths, resources, dreams and desires to be discovered. This is best achieved through exchange in groups of children and young people in similar situations.

In the groups with like-minded people, the children and young people first learn to confide in each other through the exchange. This results in mutual support. In this way they become active with each other, cooperate and make joint decisions. In addition, skills are imparted that help them to face the demands, challenges and changes in life. (Project example: Support for AIDS orphanswith the partner organisation Humuliza)

On the one hand, the children and young people must learn to cope with their difficult environment, and on the other hand it is extremely important to create a supportive environment for them. Our partner organisations therefore also work with families, carers and caregivers, as well as communities of young people, and conduct awareness-raising and information events on relevant topics.

Example projects Youth participation

Sunset in the background and a plaque with the warning of free running camels.

Life prospects despite HIV/AIDS with the partner organisation MMPZ in Zimbabwe

Support for AIDS orphans with the partner organisation Humuliza in Tanzania

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Access to social and emotional support

The non-profit organisation co-founded by terre des hommes schweiz REPSSI (the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative) is dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of mental and social support.

More about PSS


Catherine Brunold
Projects Switzerland and Psycho Social Support PSS
061 335 91 57 | catherine.brunold(at)terredeshommes.ch
Catherine BrunoldProjects Switzerland and Psycho Social Support PSS

061 335 91 57 | catherine.brunold(at)terredeshommes.ch

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