Mutual respect and equality
The Umoza Trust works alongside our international partners within equal and mutually respectful relationships. We promote the inclusion of all voices and respect the wealth of information that people from all walks of life can bring to these partnerships.
The Umoza Trust is built upon the understanding that Western conceptualisations of mental health are not universally accepted or appropriate across cultures. We promote the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experiences with the aim of benefiting all parties; recognising that services in the UK have just as many opportunities to develop from these partnerships as our international colleagues.
The Umoza Trust strives to develop partnerships within which its work has a long-term and sustained impact. Volunteers work with staff teams and services to develop shared ideas and understandings which impact upon client care, rather than delivering short-term client interventions.
At Umoza, we’re passionate about promoting mental health and improving people’s lives. A team of trained clinical psychologists, we see mental health problems as an understandable response to life experiences. Often, mental health difficulties emerge as a result of adversity and challenges. People develop certain mechanisms to survive terrible experiences and events in their lives. The key to addressing these difficulties is in forming strong relationships and making sense of the experience to
As such, the cornerstone of our work is building meaningful connections, whether with a client who has a traumatic past, or with our global partners. Umoza’s work is based around cross-border partnerships where we share our learning and knowledge, and in return learn about alternative approaches. Our projects involve exchange of mutual expertise, and are fundamentally about relationships, creativity and collaboration, where all parties benefit.
Through our partnerships with mental health services in Malawi we:
Support overseas mental health professionals to provide consultation and training to local staff
Conduct research projects
Provide teaching as part of professional courses
Constantly look for opportunities to increase resources and build capacity in country
Produce publications to further support these projects
All of these projects involve developing relationships that continue when we’re not in country, and building capacity that will see these benefits continue well into the future. We are also currently developing a scholarship program to train counsellors in Malawi, supporting those who would not otherwise have had access to the course. This will include staff already working in untrained roles but who do not have the financial means to progress with training due to other commitments to their family and their community.
Umoza is always seeking expand our work into other countries and build further partnerships. We welcome potential collaborators from around the world to get in touch with us to discuss how we may develop a partnership!