Vitality Project Donbas

Ukrainian NGO Development Foundation, in collaboration with Wesleyan University Professor Katja Kolcio Ph.D./RSME, received a grant from the United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme and Government of the Netherlands, to introduce somatic methods in psycho-social care and evaluate their impact on the wellbeing of people affected by the armed conflict in Donbas, Ukraine. Vitality Project Donbas is based on five years of research and development working directly with relief workers, veterans/soldiers across Ukraine to develop a program specific to the Ukrainian context. The grant of $64,745 funds an evidence-based analysis of the effects of somatic practices on the overall health of people impacted by the conflict. The project launched in 2020 with an eight-day training for 47 care-providers in Donbas. Data collected over nine months showed statistically significant increases in clients’ functionality and decreased levels of depression. Additionally, the research shows that impact extends beyond the individual, promoting interpersonal/community wellness.

Director, Allbritton Center for Civic Engagement
Associate Professor
Dance Department
Environmental Studies
Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Wesleyan University | Middletown, CT

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