Counselling and Support Services for Victims of Kroobay Fire Disaster

Counselling Session

Intercommunity Development Organization Team visited affected area and victims of fire disaster that occurred in Kroobay community, Freetown on Sunday, 19th September 2021. The fire destroyed properties and left hundreds of people homeless. According to National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), about 137 houses and 500 people were affected by the fire. The agency (NDMA) is leading coordination of the fire disaster response.

The victims face significant challenges including lack of access to shelter, food, clothes, and the devastation can be long-lasting. Mr. Kamara Abdul Bundu, Head Teacher of Holy Annunciation Orthodox Christian Primary School, Kroobay stated that students who are affected lost their school supplies and this has impacted their learning as well as placed another financial burden on their parents or guardians. Fire disaster is often distressing and traumatic for victims, especially children and youth and how to cope is often challenging. Intercommunity is providing counselling services to the victims, to help them understand their emotions and trauma, reduce distress, improve coping skills, and connect them to other psychosocial support services. We are also developing plan to support affected students with school supplies.

Kroobay is one of Intercommunity`s high priority communities, as many of its residents live in poverty and face ongoing barriers to accessing services and resources. Intercommunity has been providing services to Kroobay community since January 2021. We provide weekly parent support group sessions to help parents and guardians improve their parenting skills and support children and youth with behaviour problems. Intercommunity also offers ongoing counselling services to individuals experiencing stress, depression, anxiety, family and relationship issues, and other challenges. We utilize case management approach to connect individuals and families to available services.