Group trained in Egypt
By School of Behavioral Health - April 11, 2024

This February, the Loma Linda University International Behavioral Health Trauma Team (LLUIBHTT) was invited to Cairo, Egypt to provide resiliency training to Sudanese refugees and community leaders, which included healthcare workers and Seventh-day Adventist church members.

As Sudan is facing its third civil war, with the most recent wars ending in 2005 and starting again in 2023, many Sudanese fled to Egypt to take refuge. The trauma in Sudan was devastating; many people relocated not by choice but to survive. Many Sudanese faced a dangerous journey traveling across the desert, many were separated from their families, and documentation challenges made everything even more difficult.

Despite this adversity, our trainees had a strong meaning and purpose to learn resiliency skills: so they can pass these on to their loved ones and communities. The Loma Linda University team taught them the Community Resiliency Model (CRM), a set of biologically based wellness skills that can be used to reset the nervous system in times of stress or trauma.

It was inspiring to witness their eagerness and passion to learn CRM. Despite our group's vast diversity—coming from different geographical origins, ethnicities, religious beliefs, and cultural upbringings—it was uplifting to discover commonalities amongst ourselves, including our faith in God. Our shared faith made the trainings even more personal and special.

The Sudanese refugees and community leaders are still actively teaching CRM in their surrounding areas. They have formed two teams to spread the CRM skills—one in New Cairo and one in Giza, Egypt. Our team is still in contact with them for consultation, and recommendations on how to adapt the CRM model to fit their cultural context.

Written by Dr. Sophia Truong, Clinical Educator at the School of Behavioral Health's Practice, Research, and Clinical Training Innovation Center (PRACTIC)