The Giant

Humanitarian Challenges to Overcome

North Iraq

4 million internally displaced nationals facing serious physical and mental health challenges in 2015. The GROW program will be piloted in North Iraq (Kurdistan) for war affected refugees who have fled Islamic State persecution.

South Sudan

Due to civil conflict and ethnic cleansing, more than one million people have fled their homes and are now living as internally displaced refugees within South Sudan and over 90,000 (mostly Christian) refugees have fled to Northern Ugandan refugee camps in recent months.

Project Grow

Our mission - to promote mental and emotional resilience

In 2015, a team of Doctors and Clinicians are developing a new mental health initiative called GROW, to help war affected communities, survivors of torture and trauma and refugees persecuted for their faith or ethnicity.

Critical Intervention for Iraq

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report an estimated 4 million Iraqi nationals have fled their homes over the past decade. Of those, half are internally displaced refugees. Owing to recent insurgence by Islamic State (IS; the ultra-jihadist al-Qaeda off-shoot), a further 100,000 refugees have fled the ethnic cleansing of Christian towns and villages (now seeking refuge in Kurdistan). These internally displaced survivors of genocide now face serious physical, spiritual and mental health challenges. According to media reports, for example, Ainkawa (the Assyrian suburb of Kurdistan’s capital Erbil) is overrun with Christian refugees who are camping on the floors of churches and in the streets with few prospects and little hope for the future.

Critical Intervention for Sudan

The world's newest nation, South Sudan, has unfortunately plunged into crisis. Nearly 4 million people remain in urgent need in following the political conflict that erupted just over 1 year ago. More than one million people have fled their homes and are now living as internally displaced refugees (within South Sudan) and over 90,000 (mostly Christian) refugees have fled to Northern Ugandan refugee camps in recent months. Family Challenge have trained and partnered with a dedicated team on the ground to respond to the emergency in the form of Trauma Rehabilitation, as well as long-term leadership and faith/church-development assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities in the region.

Project Synopsis

The GROW project is developed by a team of Doctors and Clinicians (master practitioners in clinical psychology and trauma rehabilitation) and is a new mental health initiative (early intervention and prevention) to help (a) war affected communities, (b) survivors of torture and trauma, and (c) refugees persecuted for their faith or ethnicity. This action-research project endeavors to help individuals not only recover from traumatic life events and circumvent mental health consequences, but also help promote mental, emotional and spiritual growth. In 2015, the GROW program will be piloted in Nth Iraq (Kurdistan) for war affected refugees who have fled IS persecution.

Project Facilitation

Family Challenge Charitable Trust is a nationally registered Mental Health Charity (Public Benevolent Institution with DGR status) that provides specialist psychological services. Over the past 10 years, Family Challenge has been actively (a) developing and validating evidence-based interventions for refugees of war, victims of exploitation and survivors of natural disaster; and (b) providing training for humanitarian organizations, government departments church groups, and educational institutions around the world working on the frontlines of conflict and environmental-catastrophe. Ongoing projects are currently running in the following locations:

  • Eastern Europe (Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria)
  • Africa (Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Dom. Rep. of Congo)
  • Asia-Pacific (Cambodia, Thailand, Fiji, Australia)
  • Americas & Caribbean (USA, Haiti)

Since 2006, more than 60,000 war-affected refugees have graduated from Family Challenge evidence based trauma rehabilitation programs – becoming the largest mental health initiative ever conducted with war-affected refugees. Therapeutic research-trial data is published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. For more information, visit www.familychallenge.com.au

The project is supported by the ICF Foundation. The ICF Foundation is a social branch of the ICF church in Zurich, Switzerland and has the goal to help people take responsibility for themselves and others, according to their resources.

Support the Mission

Conquering The Giant

Two men attempting to achieve the unthinkable

Dr. Robi Sonderegger and Pastor Leo Bigger stretch their faith and push the limits of possibility to raise funds and awareness, bring hope to those people in need and to prove that with God anything is possible. It’s a step by step mission to climb 4158m to conquer Jungfrau Mountain, but in the process have to conquer their greatest fears.

Dr. Robi Sonderegger

Dr. Robi Sonderegger

Dr. Robi is an Aussie who knows no bounds. Over the past 15 years he’s gone from celebrity snowboard instructor to the rich and famous of Europe to humanitarian activist for child-soldiers and sex-slaves.

Leo Bigger

Pastor Leo Bigger

Senior Pastor of ICF Zurich, Switzerland and the ICF Movement, with 47 churches in eight nations. Leo is host of his own TV program, author of numerous books and is married to Susanna and father of two sons.

You can make a difference

Take a brave step today

The GROW program is being developed by experts in Clinical Psychology from three different continents. In 2015, the GROW program will be launched in Nth Iraq and Sth Sudan for war affected refugees by trained indigenous/national facilitators. Your contribution plays a vital role in making this project a success.

Where Does Your Donation Go

100% of your donation is dedicated to the development of the GROW project - facilitated by the Family Challenge Charitable Trust. Family Challenge is a nationally registered mental health Charity and is Income Tax Exempt with DGR status, and is been independently audited every year.

The Impact

  • $20 places a mental health rehabilitation manual into the hands of a field agent
  • $200 allows an Iraqi or Sudanese program facilitator to be fully trained
  • $2000 puts a Mental Health Expert (Doctor in Clinical Psychology) on the frontline

You can give by either using the form or by direct deposit

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