Mon Ami (French for my friend) Trauma Troops (Matt) is a community based non profit organization, that provides emotional assistance to people affected by trauma in the Pretoria and Centurion areas. The group is dedicated to continuous improvement to benefit, and to engage, the bigger community. Mon Ami Trauma Troops (Matt) is democratic and inclusive of ethnic values, to respect human life and the environment.

Background

Mon Ami (French for my friend) Trauma Troops (MATT) is a community based support group that renders emotional support to people living in Pretoria and Centurion who have been affected by a traumatic experience. The action group was established in 2007 after Jacques Botes (Social Worker in Private Practice) in collaboration with the Villieria SAPS started a support group in the Pretoria Moot area. After identifying the need for support to traumatised persons it was followed by comprehensive research resulting in various networks with key groups in the community and the establishment of MATT.

Mission and Vision

All services are based on the organisation’s Mission, Vision and Values.

Vision:

To restore good neighbourliness within the community by means of supportive networking.

Mission:

A community based project that offers emotional support to persons affected by trauma.

Non-Profit Organisation

Mon Ami – Trauma Troops is a Non-Profit Organisation (105-635 NPO) registered with the Department Social Development. As is an organisation entirely consisting of volunteers, obtaining donations and sponsorship are of utmost importance.

As NPO Mon AMI Trauma Troops are proud to comply with the minimum norms and standards of the Department Social Development. According to the Department of Social Development Victim Empowerment Programme Procedure and Guidelines, attention is drawn to the following with regards to Victim Empowerment:

Victim Empowerment Services should strive towards restoring and building a healthy, peaceful and economically viable society. It is the process of promoting the resourcefulness of all victims of crime and violence (including perpetrators) by providing opportunities to access services available to them, as well as to use and build their own capacity and support networks and to act on their own choices and sense of responsibilities.

 MATT‘s vision of restoring good neighbourliness within the community by means of supportive networking could not be maintained without having good relations with the South African Police Services(SAPS) specifically the stations of Villieria, Moot, Hercules, Lyttelton and Brooklyn as well as Tshwane Metro Police. We also work closely with Kilnerpark Security.

Focus

Part of the activities of MATT is aimed at the people from previously disadvantaged groups and people without medical aid. Counselling skills and experience is gained on various procedures to be followed when clients with no medical aid from all walks of life need support in accessing basic trauma support. MATT is able to render support to all members in our communities coming from all social and economic background through networking with various institutions and emergency services.

Person-Centred Approach

At Mon Ami we base our training and the support that we offer to those affected by trauma, on the work of the American Psychologist Prof Carl Rogers. Rogers believed that every person can achieve their goals, wishes and desires in life. …this process does not just happen. It is facilitated [constructed] by the special conditions of the therapeutic relationship – the complete freedom to explore every portion of the perceptual field, and the complete freedom from [any] threat to the self which the person-centred therapist in particular provides (Rogers, 1951:144).

Members of MATT are committed to the values of the person centred approach (PCA) as introduced by Dr Carl R. Rogers, namely:

  • Respect – This is central to the approach and implies accepting the client’s values and the differences between your own values and those of the client. Allowing the client to decide what he/she wants to do.
  • Individualisation – Each client is approached as a unique person, completely accepting their individual strengths and weaknesses.
  • Self-determination – The client moves into the direction of growth, determines what is best for him/her and what his/her goals should be. The client determines what is discussed and how and when it will be discussed.
  • Confidentiality – Creating a climate within which the client feels unthreatened and willing to acknowledge and explore painful experiences. Trust is the basis of confidentiality and must be ethically respected.

By creating a safe space for the community through the values of respect, individualisation, self-determination and confidentiality together with the basic as well as advanced communication skills the organism should be able to maintain the constructed relationships.