The need for mental health support grows every day in poor, violent communities all over East Africa and the Horn. When people cannot afford therapy, or if they live in places where there is limited access, they need other solutions that work which are culturally grounded. Thus, GSN utilizes art and culture to engage in community mental health prevention.
When implementing healing-centered programs to new contexts, it is important to adapt the curriculum and design new materials for these contexts so that the new program speaks to the realities, experiences and uniqueness of the people the program is targeting.
This process usually begins with finding the right partner(s) to engage with during the adaptation and development. In partnership, background research and learning to develop an understanding of the context and the scope of work ahead is undertaken. It ends with the production of physical and digital materials that are used to train and lead healing processes in new contexts.
It involves a number of parties from GSN staff, adaptation and implementation partners, specialists as well as members or representatives of the target groups, communities or institutions who provide input for the material adaptation and continuous feedback based on their knowledge and understanding of the targeted groups and work at hand.
GSN has developed an Adaptation Manel which serves as a guide for both the Green String Network (GSN) and its partners who are involved in the curriculum and material adaptation process for GSN’s Wellbeing and Resilience (WebR) framework and its peer support programming. The manual gives everyone an idea of what is involved in the adaptation process. It also lays out what is expected of them and others at the different stages of the process. The manal supports a smooth, efficient, and timely development of materials to be used for various healing-centered programming at the community level but also with leaders and organizations.