The Nachan Project brings evidenced-based practices for mental and physical well being to the women and children of the Karamojong tribe living in the Katwe slums of Kampala, Uganda.
Twice weekly, Nachan trainers share mindfulness-based practices with the women so they can learn how to regulate their nervous systems which have been adversely affected due to past and current traumatic events. For nearly a century the Karamojong community has experienced drought, flooding, conflict and famine. Urban migration has led them to seek a better life in the slums of Kampala. Many of the women suffer from Continuous Traumatic Stress Syndrome and experience anxiety, depression, dissociation, insomnia, hyper-vigilance, GI issues and chronic pain as well as many other issues which make surviving in extreme poverty with little to no access to clean water, sanitation, menstrual health hygiene, education or employment even more difficult. By regulating their nervous systems, the women will better be able to provide safe and secure attachment figures for their children and have the mental stability to advocate for themselves, partner with local stakeholders and learn employable skills. Procuring income to afford an education for their children is the only way the cycles will end.
Nachan also provides food and psycho-social support during the group meetings as well as medical care, vaccination outreach (in partnership with UNICEF and the Kampala City Council) for Hepatitis and Typhoid and prevention education for HIV/AIDS.
Our long-term goal of providing employment to the street counselors, social workers, and specifically the women of the Katwe slums will result in practical, sustainable and culturally aware, interventions for trauma.
Utilizing a “Train the Trainer” methodology, Gina leads trainings for street counselors, social workers, trauma therapists, and humanitarian aid workers so they may share practices with the vulnerable populations they work with as well as aid in their own self-care. Many caregivers suffer from empathy fatigue and vicarious trauma which leads to burn-out and decline in employment.
Through mind body practices we can restore resiliency and are better able to maintain mental, emotional and physical health and well-being.
Nachan promotes the ability to move beyond surviving into thriving.