POMA is a female-led non-profit comprising psychologists, community leaders, researchers and development practitioners, focused on delivering MHPSS to vulnerable communities across the Middle East and North Africa. We take a holistic approach to the provision of MHPSS and strongly believes in the importance of community-led responses to local and national issues. The protection of women, children and minorities and the principle of Do No Harm are central to our work and goals.
POMA’s organisational ethos is to centre the needs and experience of the beneficiaries and we endeavour to align with the core principles outlined in IASC Guidelines; increasing participation of locally affected populations, building on available resources and capacities, the integration of support services to avoid a fragmented care system, and protecting the human rights of all beneficiaries of care, whenever appropriate. By delivering MHPSS to vulnerable communities we seek to mitigate the effects of prolonged exposure to instability and trauma, and promote effective and durable change in the delivery of essential care.
Our expertise includes the following:
• Strategy and policy development
• Needs assessment and gap analysis
• Technical mental health training
• Clinical assessments and supervision
• Establishing working groups & coordination bodies
• Crisis and emergency incident response
• Mental health, child protection, gender based violence and conflict research
Initially conceived and operated as a national mental health awareness campaign aimed at sharing messages about psychological well-being in Afghanistan in 2018, POMA has evolved into a female-led transnational network of psychologists, community leaders, researchers, development practitioners and civil society focused on fostering a more just and equitable society. Under the stewardship of Lyla Schwartz, POMA provides a range of services that have grown beyond dispensing specialist mental health and psychological support services for those working with at-risk populations in Afghanistan. Due to the recent crisis in Afghanistan, we have shifted our focus beyond the country, expanding our reach to regions our consultants have considerable experience and knowledge within. Our consultants have worked in Afghanistan, Iraq, across East Africa and the Middle East. POMA offers its services to governmental and developmental actors by providing social and sustainable solutions designed to create mental health care and social infrastructures where not existent.