Ecett in Africa:
an exciting experience in Congo (DRC)
The Congolese association ANUPF (social reintegration of psychiatric patients) asked for Ecett’s support to organise courses in Rwanda. Ecett accepted but as physical internships are not possible in the context of Covid, we created a new format: the “virtual internship”. This means that the Congolese trainees use the documents in the Ecett travel file and the host in Rwanda fills in the “course planning” document with several stakeholders (staff, clients, families) as it is done for physical courses, but this will be done by video conference.
Following the first webinar in French, ANUPF requested the support of CEID (TC in Bordeaux) to implement in Bukavu the good practice called “the therapeutic garden” presented during the webinar. As a result, the Kokopelli association (seed grower in France) offered a kilo of medicinal plant seeds to ANUPF, which cultivates and dries the plants to make phythotherapeutic remedies for psychiatric patients. Other exchanges of practices by videoconference took place between ANUPF and Rwandan and Belgian associations on the following themes
- income-generating activities and micro-credit for patients and their families
- animation of self-help groups for families of drug addicts
- collaboration of peer helpers in the psychiatric sector.
As a result, the ANUPF started a self-help group for the families of psychiatric patients, which already has 30 participants.
After 15 hours of videoconference exchanges, Jean-Jacques Chishibanji received an Ecett course certificate.
This African experience of “virtual internships” seems to be conclusive and will be continued in the framework of the Ecett Academy.