KHARTOUM Sudanow) - Psychotherapy Consultant Dr. Mua’az Sharfi has for a long time been leading noteworthy initiatives in the domain of psychotherapy and the rehabilitation of persons with mental disorders.
Dr. Shrafi’s endeavors had materialized a lot of sound projects that saved innocent children and youths from the quagmire of psychological disorders and turned them into good citizens.
Dr. Sharfi’s activity was not confined to medical treatment after psychological disorders occur. He, further, worked on projects for predicting and preventing the occurrence of such ailments. His theory in this is that “yes, the hereditary factor has its say, but a psychological disorder might come to the surface due to the existence of a helping environment or bad upbringing of children.”
One of Dr. Sharfi’s outstanding achievements was the establishment in 1993 of the first center for children with special needs (The center for the treatment of childhood impediments), that rehabilitates and trains families of children with special needs on how to deal with them. Dr. Sharfi’s argument in this is that there are so many behavioral disorders in our society which pass unnoticed due to “our poor knowledge of child psychological health.”
The center has so far rehabilitated a group of children who have now graduated from universities and found jobs in the domain of disability and in the conduction of research and studies in this area. The success of the center has also inspired the opening of private centers around Khartoum and other parts of the country to care for children with such impediments. The center has also triggered an increase in study programs in child care and early intervention.
Dr. Sharfi has cited certain examples of cases the center had cured through child behavioral therapy: “We had a case of a baby girl who used to munch broken glass. The habit had caused the child to sustain ulcers in her mouth. A number of physicians who saw her had failed to treat her. But when she came to the center, and after a diagnosis, it became clear that she was suffering a behavioral disorder which was treated in a number of therapy sessions and was cured,” he said.
“Another baby girl used to collect raw meat from the refrigerator and eat it. After a diagnosis of the causes of this behavior and after a number of sessions of psychotherapy, she quit this odd behaviour”, he said.
Dr. Sharfi also cited cases of children suffering from certain type of anaemia that affects the brain whom the center had treated and rehabilitated into healthy children.
The center has conducted a lot of research in the areas of children and youth and has communicated its expertise with children and families to many countries via international conferences and via lectures at universities.
Dr. Sharfi has published a book about child psychological disorders.
Dr. Sharfi also is director of the Welfare and Protection Organization, a group concerned with drug combat. Alongside Dr. Sharfi,who is one of its founders, the Organization has brought together a number of physicians, experts and specialists, including Presidential Assistant Ibrahim al-Sanoasi, Dr. al-Amin Mohamed Osman and Mr. Esam Dahab.
The Organization seeks to raise public awareness about the hazards of narcotics among the youth, to educate them on good conduct and to qualify and find jobs for them. It also seeks to medicate addicts and reintegrate them in the society. In this endeavor, the Organization boasts to have cured a lot of addicts and reintegrated them in the society. It has also managed to reverse many divorce cases and reunited couples separated due to addiction.
Dr. Sharfi is also undertaking the training of psychology and sociology university students on how to become a social example and opinion leaders. The aim in this effort is that the students, though not employed yet, can still propagate what they had learned at college; and advise and direct the public.
One of other the popular contributions of Dr. Sarfi is to educate the children on how to become good citizens. Here he warns against unsystematic upbringing of children that may materialize a characterless toady child who is totally reliant on his parents and is afraid of them.” I started training the kids during the summer vacations on how to become community leaders. In this, I launched a lot of courses, which were well publicized in the concerned neighborhoods. The move had won extreme popularity among the children and their families. The end product was that the trainees developed a love of their country and were tied to the history of the nation. I used to take the kids to museums to educate them about the life history of the country’s national heroes. After such picnics, I used to ask the kids about the national heroes they liked most and whether they wanted to become like them. I also used to ask the kids about what they wanted to become in the future and what they can give the country when they grow up. The kids were often asked to act scenes from the lives of Sudanese heroes,” he said.
In cooperation with garbage removing companies, Dr. Sharfi and the children who worked with him used to join neighborhood cleanup work , learning and teaching others on how to collect garbage, where garbage comes from and the causes of the accumulation of garbage in the city. The kids became keen to disseminate the concepts of cleanliness and the ideal way to collect garbage in one place. “In some cases the kids would advise the garbage collection company’s manager and workers on the best way to collect garbage . I had received notice from those companies that they had benefited from this advice,” said Dr. Sharfi.
Dr. Sharfi had also trained the kids on how to plan for their objectives, how to attain those objectives and how to build their capabilities, solve problems, serve the community, how to become cooperative and how to do away with selfishness and dependence on others.
“The move had won popularity among the kids and their families, I used to present and explain these ideas in written papers, a matter that gained them a lot of popularity,” he said.
“After looking into these papers the parents used to contact me for more knowledge or to give me feedback on what change the papers had caused in their children. The kids also communicated my thoughts to their peers and their teachers, whom I used to ask to include those thoughts in their curricula,” he said.
After the wide popularity the idea had won in the city, Dr. Sharfi carried it to the IDP camps and to the outlying neighborhoods for more dissemination. “As a result, we now have kids who left their thumb print in their communities and became opinion leaders in their areas. Some of them have become university professors , some had joined NGOs and some others had launched similar institutes where they live ,’’ he said.
Dr. Sharfi is also the first person to launch a center for the treatment of trauma in the Darfur IDP camps, in collaboration with the French world children organization. He is also the first person to launch psycho-social action in IDP camps that rehabilitated 13000 children in the Abushoak IDP Camp and about 10000 children in the Kalma IDP Camp (both in Darfur).
Via the minor kids organization, Dr. Sharfi had conducted a lot of training courses on the rehabilitation and training of minors to become leaders. In this he also launched the Child Parliament.
Dr. Sharfi is one of the founders of the Happy Family Organization that seeks to train families on ways of children upbringing and on happy marital relations. In this the Organization had held a lot of courses on what Dr. Sharfi calls ‘the license for marital life’ that helps youths about to get married understand the requirements of a successful marriage , in a bid to prevent divorces and create a sound society.
To guard against psychological disorders, Dr. Sharfi advises enlightenment as a suitable antidote. Enlightenment, he maintains, can be achieved through workshops for the training of the youth from both sexes before marriage on the art of keeping a healthy marital life , through good treatment and good upbringing of children. The courses can be organized by the Social Welfare Ministry, the healthcare centers and the community popular councils. He considers it a must that would- be weds present a certificate that they had passed these courses before they are bound into marriage.”This can constitute a guarantee against divorces and broken families,” he maintains.
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