In 2016, MSF began providing mental healthcare to victims of urban violence in Caracas.
In collaboration with the local organisation Fe y Alegría, MSF also offered comprehensive care for victims of sexual violence. The project started in mid-2016 in two of the city’s most dangerous neighbourhoods, Petare and La Vega.
In these areas, criminal gangs use violence – including robbery, murder, extortion and kidnapping – to gain territorial control. MSF psychologists provided 367 individual mental health consultations, and during these sessions, they detected and addressed 57 cases of sexual violence.
MSF teams seek to mitigate the consequences of violence on people’s mental health, by training community leaders and educators and organising psychosocial activities. These include classes and workshops on topics such as anxiety control, fear, psychological first aid and sexual violence prevention. This year, over 7,800 volunteers participated.
No. staff in 2016: 24 | Expenditure: €1.9 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 2015
Cecilia – 58, lives in the Libertador municipality of Caracas. She witnessed her son’s murder at the hands of a criminal gang. She has been undergoing psychological treatment for four months.
”I feel better thanks to you, you are the only one who listens to me, understands me and does not judge me, makes me see the light when I see everything dark. When I'm on the street I remember what we talked about here [in the sessions] and then I feel better.”