ISHHR Secretariat

ISHHR Norway took over the assignment as ISHHR Secretariat from ISHHR Australia in 2018, and the following board members for ISHHR Norway were elected in 2021. Together, the board members form a competent group with different professional backgrounds that form the basis for good and skilled decision-making in the secretariat organization of ISHHR.

Rolf Vårdal (Chairman of the Board) works as a clinical physiotherapist at the Center for Migration Health in Bergen. Rolf has worked in the refugee field for two decades; first as a physiotherapist in the municipality, and in different capacities at RVTS West (Resource Centre on Violence, Traumatic Stress, and Suicide Prevention), and the local centre for the integration of resettled refugees in Bergen, Norway.

Rolf teaches students of physiotherapy and medicine at the local university college and university about refugees, global health issues and more specifically about consequences of torture, as well as refugees resettled in the area about health and lifestyle.  He is a trained group leader of ICDP (International Child Development Program, minority version), and has ran dialogue-based programs for groups of refugee parents. Furthermore, Rolf continues to facilitate groups of TRT (Teaching Recovery Techniques) for selected groups of refugees.

Rolf is a member of Amnesty International, the Chechen-Norwegian Friendship Association, the local Latin American Group, and other NGOs.

Ana Maria Navarro Melandro is a clinical psychologist from Colombia. She has worked primarily in the field of neuropsychology in Colombia, Spain and Norway.

In Norway she has also worked with treatment and rehabilitation of patients with severe mental illness. Studying and working in four different countries has raised her engagement for intercultural understanding, migration and health.

She has volunteered in the Women’s field at Oslo Red Cross where she contributed with the organization of courses and workshops about mental health.  Ana Maria has a great interest in the interactions between mental health, neurological conditions and development.

Currently she works within the educational system with acquired brain injury and inclusion.  She joined the board of ISHHR Norway in 2021

Patrick O´Loughlin is a child psychologist at RVTS Vest. Patrick is a trained, experienced schoolteacher (B.Sc. and PGCE, London and Leicester Universities, UK), Educational Psychologist (M.Sc. University College, London, UK) and Senior Clinical Child Psychologist (Cand. Psychol, University of Bergen, Norway).

His work has focused on children and their parents/caregivers, in different settings, in the UK, Zambia and Norway. Patrick helped the Zambian Ministry of Education develop support for school’s special education systems and introduced the first Portage Guide project for children with disabilities in Zambia 1993 – 1995. Together with former colleague and fellow ISHHR board member, Rolf Vårdal, Patrick cooperated with Paz y Esperanza, Ayacucho, Peru, as a result of contacts established at ISHHR’s conference in Lima in 2008.

Patrick has worked for The Resource Centre on Violence, Traumatic Stress and Suicide Prevention in Western Norway (RVTS Vest) since 2006. He supports services working with refugees, offering consultation, supervision and training. The main focus is helping services develop more culturally appropriate, trauma sensitive approaches. Recently he has been learning to use Bruce Perry and the Child Trauma Academy’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) assessment system.     Patrick trains facilitators who run groups for parents in the International Child Development Programme (ICDP) in Norway and Botswana and has helped support this work in Tanzania. He is currently helping Save the Children evaluate their Child Sensitivity and Protection Projects, including the use of ICDP, in Somaliland, India and Nepal

Odd Harald Røkenes is a specialist in clinical psychology and has worked with refugees since 1988, including at the Refugee Health Team in Trondheim municipality and RVTS Midt.

He has been a member of the Norwegian Psychological Association’s human rights committee, and has also worked at HiST / NTNU.

Sofia Colorado Valencia has been working as a psychologist since 2006. In Colombia she has worked on different projects with children and families at risk, supervising the reestablishment of basic human rights, and giving therapy. In Norway she has been a member of the board of the NGO Helsehjelp til Papirløse, which works with undocumented migrants in Norway.

Last year she was working as a health care coordinator in one of the largest transitory asylum camps in Norway. She and her colleague implemented a self-help group based on the TRT manual (Teaching Recovery Techniques) at the transitory camp.

Sofía’s educational background includes a professional degree in Psychology, with a Major in Social Psychology from the Catholic University Luis Amigó in Medellín, Colombia. She also holds a Diploma in Human Rights and the Rights of Children, and has specialized in Social Psychology through various courses at La Escuela de Psicología Social del Sur in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Currently, she is studying for a master’s degree in Development Psychology at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Marit Christine Borchgrevink is a senior clinical child psychologist (University of Oslo), and has worked as a psychologist with refugees since 1994. As a student Marit worked at asylum seeking centers 1988-1993. She has also studied French, social anthropology and biology.

Her first job as a psychologist was at Psycho-social center for refugees in Oslo, doing out-patient clinical work with traumatized refugees and torture survivors. Then she moved to Tromsø in northern Norway, where she was Head of pscyho-social team for refugees in Northern Norway 1996-2006. She now works at RVTS Nord (Regional resource center on violence, traumatic stress and suicide prevention, North).

She is specialized in refugee mental health, forced migration, traumatic stress, resilience and helping the helpers. She is trained in body-related trauma treatment, hypnosis, EMDR and EXIT (Expressive arts in transit). She is a certified/trained group leader of ICDP (International child development program, minority version).

She works mainly with teaching, counselling, training, supervision, network building, professional development, and preventive/resilience-promoting and clinical work. She has assisted research, published articles, book-chapters and film i.e. on refugee children, unaccompanied minors, helping the helpers and human rights. She was a member of a govermentally appointed group 2009-11 that revised public services offered to asylum seekers in Norway. She has also been a lay judge in UNE (the immigration appeals board in Norway).

Has attended 4 ISHHR conferences: South Africa 1998, Croatia 2001, India 2005, Serbia 2017.

Egil Kaberuka-Nielsen, a trained social worker, and has built up the Center for Migration Health in Bergen Municipality, Norway.

He has worked with refugees since 1994. He has worked as a counselor for children and adolescents’ mental health, a therapist at the Norwegian Child Welfare Services, an integration consultant and refugee health consultant at the local center for integration of resettled refugees in Bergen.

Has extensive experience in the health care sector, and knowledge in public administration and organization of both the municipal services and specialist health services. He has an interest in integration-related issues, and particular the link between integration and health.

Valeria Markova holds a PhD in migration health and is a psychologist at the Center for Migration Health in Bergen. She was involved in founding the Health Center for Undocumented Migrants in Bergen.

Domnine Marie Claude Marguerite LeCoq is a specialist in adult clinical psychology. She has a master’s degree in clinical psychology.

Jone Schanche Olsen is a psychiatrist and head of the Transcultural Psychiatric Center at Stavanger University Hospital. He has worked with refugees since 1989 both in Norway and other parts of the world.

Lovise Angen Krogstad is a psychologist and social anthropologist. She has led the Refugee Team at RVTS East, been associated with HHRI and now works part-time in private practice and part-time in music and theater.