NIDCOM, others carry out psycho-social traumatic therapy for Ukraine returnees 

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From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja 

Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM), in partnership with National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) and Project Victory Call Initiative (PVC), Thursday, provided Psycho-social Trauma therapy for Ukraine returnees.

Recall that the Federal Government had announced that the total number of Nigerians evacuated from Ukraine was 1,531.

According to a statement Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit, Gabriel Odu, the Chairman/CEO, of NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, described highly unacceptable and reprehensible, the profiling and detention of Nigerians and other African nationals in Poland detention centers.

She noted that though President Mohammadu Buhari had made every necessary arrangements for Nigerians caught up in the war situation to return home, some chose to remain in some countries like Poland, stressing that the most appropriate action for Poland to take was to return them back to their countries, rather than keep them in tortuous detention centers.

The NiDCOM boss said that the two day clinic was preliminary, as it will be a continuous exercise in the six geo political zones.

She disclosed that her commission has also partnered with The Sunshine Series by creating a 24 hours helpline (#112) for returnees who need counseling.

In her remark, a Federal-Commissioner, Refugees Commission, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim, said: “We tend to ignore our mental health but mental health is key. As Nigerians we have a lot of resilience we have that ability, but not everybody has the same threshold when it comes to resilience and hence the need for this particular platform so that those that need extra support or extra care and assistance, can be able to access it”.

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She stated that the NCFRMI is the focal organ for government for rehabilitation, resettlement and integration. So psychosocial support is the core of rehabilitation.

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She went further to explain that NCFRMI has offices in about 14 locations. And are ready to make their offices available to ensure that collaboration with the Project Victory Call Initiative (PVC) team and academic experts make this counseling easily accessible for the returnees.

The Convener Project Victory Call Initiative (PVC), Bolaji Akinyemi, commended the Chairman/CEO NiDCOM and the National Commissioner for NCFRMI and the entire team for the initiative behind the programme and applauded both organizations for their immediate response.

He stressed the importance for the prompt creation of this program, stating that trauma has caused mental and socio psychological issues.

He further notified the returnees that the services provided by the PVC Initiative will be free and accessible to any and every returnee with no cost to the government.

President of Nigeria Students in Ukraine, Fehintola Damilola Moses,  applauded President Mohammadu Buhari, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Dabiri-Erewa and the NiDCOM team, the Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine, Amb Shina Feege , Nigerian diaspora organizations,  NGOs and all other government agencies  for the prompt response and rescue of the students from Ukraine.

He explained how brutal the situation was and the terrifying experiences most of them faced during the war between Russia and Ukraine.

According to him, from spending nights in an inadequate bunker to being racially profiled in some instances, adding, ”We had to boil snow to drink water.”

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