The Peter C. Alderman Foundation is an international agency dedicated to strengthening mental health, recovery and resilience for communities devastated by violence and armed conflict. Our teams implement transformative solutions providing every individual the opportunity to rebuild, recover and thrive.
PCAF is a small organization with a bold vision, to implement and scale transformative mental health and psychosocial care. Our programs are grounded in rigorous research and evidence. They are based on the principle that the best innovations come from local communities. That is why our programs are delivered by local clinicians and caregivers and operate through partnership with governments, with the goal of community-based lay practitioners providing majority of care.
Through direct implementation and partners, PCAF is currently operating at 18 clinics across Uganda, Kenya, Cambodia and, starting in 2016, Burundi. In its early years, PCAF operated clinics at district and regional hospitals, treating those impacted by armed conflict. PCAF’s focus on conflict-affected populations has not changed; the model, however, evolved quickly to provide the vast majority of care within communities.
In addition, PCAF continues its focus on training and capacity building, and has since 2008 sponsored the Pan-African Conference on Psychotrauma. The conference brings together African mental health professionals – to learn, exchange best practices, network and hear from experts in global mental health.
Our Work is Complex – Yet Simple
“The work of improving the mental health and psychological wellbeing of conflict-affected people is both incredibly complex – and simple. Every day, our caregivers meet people who are suffering enormously from some of the worst things people can do to each other. Their emotional and psychological issues are deep and complex, and we have much to learn about how to describe, measure and relieve their profound suffering. Assisting people who suffer because of conflict is difficult work, and keeping our staff healthy psychologically is also a complex, ongoing challenge.
Yet there is surprising simplicity in our approach, because we know from experience that sharing another human being’s suffering can help them get back on their feet. Our patients’ inner strengths give us a starting point in our work together, and we build on these strengths in our daily individual and group sessions. We rely on the resilience of our remarkable clinic staff and the PCAF leadership, exemplified in the Alderman family who found strength despite their grief to help others.
The healing power of shared suffering is a powerful force. It strengthens our commitment and bolsters our energy to keep on learning, keep on searching for more effective treatments, and keep on reaching out to those who have suffered so greatly.”