About the Program

Pathways to Resilience

“Pathways to Resilience” (P2R) was an innovative regional leadership and training program for survivors of landmines and explosive ordnance injuries in the Middle East, which took place in May 2011 in Lebanon. The program developed self-confidence, emotional and physical health and life direction for landmine survivors while empowering them to help other survivors using similar techniques in their country of origin.


Photo courtesy of the Paul Jeffrey.

This innovative resilience program and curriculum was developed and implemented by a team that included two leading psychologists, a statistician fluent in Arabic and staff from the James Madison Center for International Stabilization and Recovery. The program was implemented in partnership with the Lebanon Mine Action Center and other Middle Eastern professionals and organizations.

This workshop included 20–30 landmine survivors who have leadership skills and institutional professionals who work with survivors. The seven-day long intensive Resilience, Leadership and Peer Support Workshop encouraged participants to find their own path in life while planning activities for survivors that they could implement upon their return home. The workshop helped survivors make meaning of past events, learn to manage emotions in new ways, find social support, personal strength and inspiration. Program activities promoted resilience using experience-based learning followed by reflective observation. Activities were coordinated and led in Arabic by selected local staff supported by JMU faculty and Middle Eastern victim assistance experts.

In addition to learning about resilience activities, participants received practical training on how to design, establish and manage a peer support program in their own countries (Peer support is encouragement and assistance provided by a trained survivor using simple, low-cost techniques). An added component to the program was that organizational leaders who work in mine action/victim assistance in each participating country were invited to attend the workshop in addition to selected survivors. These leaders were trained in the P2R methodology before the workshop began and supported staff in implementing activities. As a final project, organizational leaders and survivors woredk together to create plans of action for implementing P2R and peer support programs in their home countries.

The impact of the program was measured by program evaluations, needs assessments and follow-up surveys. Future P2R workshops will incorporate lessons learned and best practices revealed during this pilot effort.

In total, 20–30 landmine survivors and institutional leaders were selected through an application process from Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen. The workshop dates were May 8-15, 2011.

Click here to download an information sheet about the training in English.

Click here to download an information sheet about the training in Arabic.

Project Partners

LMACThe Lebanon Mine Action Center (LMAC) is a governmental agency responsible for demining, explosive ordnance disposal, mine risk education and mine victim assistance in Lebanon. In 2010, LMAC partnered with the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) to develop and implement the P2R Program.


CISRThe Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) is based at James Madison University (JMU), in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA and works closely with resilience, leadership and peer support experts on the university’s faculty. The CISR’s P2R program team consists of Dr. Anne Stewart and Dr. Lennis Echterling of the JMU Department of Graduate Psychology, Dr. Hassan Hamdan of the JMU Department of Mathematics and Statistics; CISR Director, Dr. Ken Rutherford; CISR project manager, Daniele Ressler CISR peer support specialist Cameron Macauley; and CISR project assistant, Diar Kaussler.

This program would not be possible without the generous financial support of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the US Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.