Healing from the Trauma of Political Conflict

Death was all around them. Fathers, brothers, children, wives, grandmothers and grandfathers died in the attacks. They fled their homes and their country to escape the horrors of conflict and violence. Some now live in tents in large refugee camps in surrounding countries, fighting to get a handout of food or other necessities. A few have found a small apartment...shared with two or three other families. On top of the nightmare they left behind, Syrians who used to have homes, jobs, bank accounts, and schools to attend are subjected daily to crime of many varieties.

They are a people lost and heartbroken.

Many are the descendants of Armenian refugees who found refuge in Syria during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Around 17,000 Syrian Armenians chose to make the journey back to Armenia for refuge from the conflict in Syria. Along the way, the few possessions they were able to carry made them vulnerable to theft. To the insecurity of traveling 1,100 km (700 miles) by the masses and tentative living added the additional vulnerability of rape, abuse, and even human trafficking.

One can barely imagine their physical and mental state enduring tragedy after tragedy. That’s why the House of Esther has opened as a center for rehabilitation and development in Spitak, Armenia.

This small country, east of Turkey, north of Syria and Iraq, holds a lot of it’s own tragic history but is now host to the healing of these victims of political conflict. Both a residence and rehabilitation center for women and families, the House of Esther will offer trauma counseling, medical assistance, and help residents identify resources needed to recover.

Once on the path to healing, occupants will begin participating in Transformational Community Development (TCD) lessons and activities to make the House of Esther sustainable. They will learn skills, such as farming, that are transferable to their new life after leaving the center and can multiply the impact of TCD wherever they go.

Will you join our staff in Armenia as we bring help and hope to women and families in the House of Esther?