Beyond Trauma: Political Violence, Refugees, Empowerment and Health

August 28th - September 3rd, 2016

The 2016 Summer School explored the relationships between political violence, trauma, empowerment and health in the light of the current refugee crisis. As future health professionals it is important to develop a basic understanding of trauma and trauma symptoms caused by “men made disasters”, develop trauma-sensitive skills and understand the cultural embeddedness of trauma as well as the social determinants of health and healing.


During the Summer School we addressed the root causes of war and refugee movements and explored the social and political situation in the host countries. We asked who must be held accountable for the current situation and discussed how we as citizens and health students can have a positive impact. We learnt from and discussed with refugees about the challenges and needs of refugee communities and assessed what they need to regain control over their lives and to improve their health.


Participants gained a thorough understanding of issues related to trauma and refugee health and its determinants through interactive lectures, workshops, excursions as well as skills training.

Participants Voices 2016

Global Health Summer School 2016, Photo: IPPNW
Everlyne Achieng, medical student, Kenya:
I am very grateful that I was enabled to attend this year’s Global Health Summer School. I must say it was an eye-opening experience for me, an opportunity to learn, interact and network. On behalf of the Summer School participants, I would like to sincerely thank IPPNW Germany and the Organizing Committee of the 2016 Summer School for a job well done. Congratulations! More


Jihad Suliman, media student, Syria/Germany: Enriching, informative and unique, this is how the Global Health Summer Schools’s experience was to me. The summer school gave me the opportunity to interact with open-minded and highly motivated young people who came from different cultures and backgrounds, young people who sat together and exchanged their experiences and discussed the topic from different aspects. Moreover, the lecturers were diverse in regard to their specializations and previous experiences, thus, more colorful brush strokes were added to the topic’s whole picture, as a result, my horizon was even more widened. More


Anna Kanitz, psychologist, Germany: The summer school opened the doors to deal with political violence and trauma from different perspectives. It was enriching to be part of an inspiring learning atmosphere and a young international group that encounters complex global health issues. The week encouraged me to keep on contemplating psychology not just as a medical concept but putting trauma in a political and social context – a tailwind to continue working on the grievance of the current health system.


Kelvin Kibet, medical student, Kenya: Diversity enriches - that’s the message that resonated with me all through. From the diverse group of participants, topics and vibrant speakers to the field visits that brought the lessons learnt to life. On the last evening, we visited an intercultural garden project where refugees from different cultures worked together as part of the healing and reconciliation process. I was deeply touched by this because it made me realize that sometimes what traumatized people really need is for their diversities to be accepted and integrated into our own, then healing follows!


Chung Ting Wang, medical student,Taiwan: The most impressive thing of the summer school is the energy from all participants. Through the whole week‘s course, workshop and discussion, I understood the issue from different perspectives and was inspired by my companions so much! There is still a long way to come to deal with the refugee issue. I am looking forward to the change by these admirable participants, and try to think what can Taiwan do on this issue in the globalizational world. It‘s so great that I‘m part of Global health Summer 2016!

Global Health Summer 2016

Health and Globalisation Health and Globalisation Health and Globalisation

Health and Globalisation