Proposed Charity for World Mission Project
At the September Church Meeting the World Action Group will be proposing a possible charity for the Church to support over the next two years and we hope that the information provided here will ensure that members are well informed about the charity before voting.
Luna Children's Charity
Luna is a child-centred organisation, based in Alton, that trains and supports people working with children and young people traumatised by conflict, violence and disaster.
Skilled and experienced volunteer child mental health and education practitioners are trained in the UK and overseas to lead the work. They train local mental health professionals and others working closely with child victims of trauma, together with their families and communities, to relieve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They use a child-centred therapeutic protocol, Children’s Accelerated Trauma Therapy (CATT), which empowers local communities with a new and effective individual approach to the treatment of psychological trauma in children suffering from some of the worst effects of violence.
Luna has provided training in Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania and Malaysia, and with those supporting children in the Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and Lebanon. They have also held training in the UK for mental health professionals from Pakistan and Nigeria.
As a very small charity entirely staffed by volunteers they have minimal overheads and, as a result, tend to plan and carry out work when they have the money or have been pledged money. Their main ongoing cost is related to insurance (employer liability, public liability, data protection). They aim to provide skills development for those working in the local community; empowering local practitioners (you can see more about this on the website).
Luna are very conscious of the impact of their work on the local economy and ensure this is minimal – their staff are only generally on the ground anywhere for a couple of weeks providing training or follow up sessions; they also have strong guidelines on safeguarding. They have not had any issues with getting the money through to where it needs to go; particularly in Uganda where they now have a strong network of people they work with.
Should we wish to have a more focused target for raising funds rather than it going to Luna's general funds, then the following suggestions of possible areas of work have been made by their Chair of Trustees:
• Funding a training trip to Jordan, Istanbul, Uganda or Tanzania
• Commissioning work in refugee camps in Uganda which has an extremely high number of refugees from surrounding countries (DRC, South Sudan, Somalia)
• They have been approached by the charity Reach the Poor to help with funding to provide and cascade general mental health (not necessarily PTSD) referrals in West Uganda.
• The Bishop Asili Counselling Centre in North Uganda is a day services centre providing support to a wide community of women and children affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. One idea is to provide a house for the lady who, along with her daughter, acts as caretaker/guardian of the centre but is living in extremely poor housing.
More information, including their annual reports, can be found on their website: http://lunachildren.org.uk/