Community development has formed an integral part of STARTTS’ work since its inception. It is seen by STARTTS management and staff as the crucial component of the systemic approach to working with survivors of torture and trauma.
Trauma impacts communities as much as it impacts individuals. When groups of people are exposed to organised violence and terror, the bonds of trust that hold a community together are damaged. Therefore, whilst it is important to work on an individual’s own symptoms of trauma, a vital element of the recovery process is to increase community strength and build social capital.
Added to this, the considerable challenges for a community in settling in to a new country threaten those connections that may exist. The Community Services Team attempts to build on these connections and use the strengths of refugees – resilience, adaptability and motivation – to help communities to overcome their trauma, empower themselves and create a better life in Australia.
Some of the programs run by the STARTTS Community Services team include: