We see stray and abandoned dogs everywhere. For most of us, they are a nuisance and we kick them away whenever they get too close. This is not the case in Uganda.
Through The Comfort Dog Project, stray and abandoned dogs in Uganda now have a new purpose. They are being trained to be therapy dogs for former child soldiers and war survivors. This is a program by The Big Fix Uganda in Gulu that aims to help those suffering from post-war trauma deal with it. In addition, taking care of the dogs helps them to reintegrate into the community.
The community is still devastated by a twenty year war that has left many people still reliving the horrors with nowhere to get help. As part of the process, humans are partnered with trained stray and abandoned dogs for life. They are expected to clean them, take care of them, as well as train them to be good companions. They also receive weekly counseling sessions from experts at The Comfort Dog Project to help them process their war trauma.
Human-dog bonds have been shown to help people deal with symptoms of PTSD, which if left unchecked could lead to suicide. On World Suicide Prevention Day, it’s important to learn about the dogs saving lives in Uganda as we think of ways to support this project in many other countries.
Watch the video here: