The Effects of Trauma Healing and Skills Training in

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					The Effects of Trauma Healing and Skills Training in the
Reintegration Process: ACase Study of War Amputees in Grafton
Camp – Sierra Leone


Betsy Boima Abu

This study examines the effects of trauma healing and skills training in post war
reintegration programme in Sierra Leone. With the view to understanding if the
programme had any significant impact on the respondents, what motivated amputees
to participate in the programme, and any changes in the lives of the respondents since
the training. To achieve this objective the study focused on a case study of war
amputees in the Grafton Camp who were brutally mutilated by warring factions in
Sierra Leone’s decade war in 1991 – 2001.

The research was predominately based on a qualitative methodology, which is a non-
positivistic approach informed by a focus on interpretation of reality as experienced
by the respondents. A qualitative method was appropriate for the study because it
allowed the use of interpretative and critical perspective in collecting data and data
analysis. This study does not seek to quantify or generalise findings but seeks to
collage experiences, perceptions and relationships of respondents to existing social
change as the amputees reintegrate in to their respective communities.

The findings show that trauma healing and skills training help in rebuilding the lives
of many amputees but has limited effect on the severely wounded amputees because
of their level of amputation. This is a result of the programme not identifying and
addressing the different needs of amputees. The findings also show that despite the
jobs and skills training given to amputees, they are discriminated against in terms of
employment and in their work places. The programme did not give any support to
families of amputees, to be able to support and cope with living with ‘the new
The study shows that trauma healing and skills training programmes can be successful
if the different needs of amputees and a sustainable funding are enhanced.