City of Rest Rehabilitation Center
The City of Rest Rehabilitation Centre is situated in the centre of Freetown, Sierra Leone and offers residential care for up to 40 people struggling with addiction problems and/or mental illness.
It was started in 1994 as a day-care programme and became a residential care centre when it moved to its current location in 1996. The project was started by Pastor Morie S. Ngobeh, a local pastor who had been working with drug addicts since 1985 and realised the need for a rehabilitation centre.
Our vision is to see people struggling with addiction or mental illness healed, restored and reintegrated into society through Christ-centred, professional, and compassionate care.
1. To sensitise people about substance abuse and mental health in order to
(a) prevent them from developing addictions or mental disorders and
(b) Promote a compassionate response to those who are facing psychosocial, mental and/or spiritual challenges in their lives and/or are struggling with addictions.
2. To share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to actively reach out to those who are struggling with addictions and/or suffering from mental disorders, inviting them to trust God for their healing and restoration.
3. To provide ambulatory and residential care for those affected by substance abuse and/or mental disorders and to bring restoration through compassionate care, counselling, life-skills training, vocational training and (informal) education.
4. To facilitate the reintegration of those who have completed the residential programme into their families and communities and the society at large through active follow-up and support.
5. To seek excellence in all we do by continuing to learn and develop as an organisation and in our professional and personal lives.
The aims and objectives have become more holistic over time, with a programme focussing on spiritual, mental, physical and social needs.
Some of the objectives are being achieved as people successfully complete the programme and are reintegrated into society. The number of people who have been admitted with severe mental disorders has increased over the years, however. This needs more professional knowledge and a higher staff-client ratio which has been hard to achieve because of a lack of both financial means and human resources. Qualified mental health professionals are scarce in Sierra Leone.
The City of Rest Rehabilitation Centre is dependent on donations from churches, charities and individuals. A small amount comes in through our participation in the European Commission sponsored programme "Enabling Access to Mental Health in Sierra Leone." The financial sustainability is a concern.
We are hoping to move to the new centre which we are currently constructing on the outskirts of Freetown. The new facilities will include areas for recreation, agriculture, skills training, etc.
The City of Rest Rehabilitation Centre is a partner in the European Commission Sponsored Project "Enabling Access to Mental Health Care in Sierra Leone." This project is aiming to train mental health workers, to sensitise the general population on mental health and to build a mental health coalition of key stakeholders.
Current challenges include difficulty with attracting professional staff, as well ensuring a sustainable means of funding the project.
Heleen Van den Brink
Heleen Van den Brink is Organisational Development & Technical Adviser for City of Rest Rehabilitation Center, Sierra Leone.
- Latest from City of Rest, January 22nd 2014