is a non-profit organization sponsored by the International Trauma
Studies Program. It s mission is to implement projects that
promote the resilience, mental health and social integration of
individuals and families in communities that have endured
war, torture, state terrorism, genocide, and political exile. The
emphasis in our approach is on the collective context for recovery,
such as the family, the extended family, neighborhood and community.
We thus focus on collective strengths rather than on individual
deficits, and are responsive to the stated needs and cultural values
of the communities we serve.
In all aspects of our work Refuge seeks to model and promote:
A collaborative systems approach that draws on the inherent
resilience of the individual, family, and communities, strengthens
local resources and capacities and builds community-wide coalitions
to promote recovery;
A multi-disciplinary approach that bridges the diverse fields
of health, mental health, law, human rights, conflict resolution,
history, anthropology, media, literature, and the visual and performance
A commitment to collaborationacross institutional jurisdictions,
disciplines, geographical, ethnic, cultural and ideological borders.
Refuge is a member of the National Consortium of Torture Treatment
Programs. It is also a member of the MASST Consortium (Metro Area
Support for Survivors of Torture) along with Safe Horizon/Solace,
the International Institute of New Jersey, and Doctors of the World/USA.
This Consortium provides comprehensive mental health and social
services to refugee communities in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan
area. Refuges role in this consortium is to provide family-based
clinical and community services for torture survivors and their
families, as well as the training of professionals and para-professionals
in strength-based approaches to working with this population.
Since October 2002, Refuge has been working with the West African
community now living in Northern Staten Island. This community of
over 4,000 is predominantly Liberian, but includes Sierra Leonean
and Nigerian immigrants as well. We currently work in partnership
with community based organizations in the Park Hill section of Staten
Island, to develop psychosocial services, strengthen local capacity,
and build a community wide coalition to address issues affecting
the well-being of youth and families. See African