In the late 1980s, Montreal frontline community workers and healthcare professional began to encounter unprecedented numbers of refugees who had experienced politically-motivated torture.
In 1990, over 100 community workers, healthcare, and legal professionals, as well as academics attended a conference where representatives from the Canadian Centre for the Victims of Torture were invited to speak to their experience in Toronto. The conference unveiled the relevance and necessity for a common place to share knowledge, experiences and training know-how. This, in turn, resulted in the forming of multidisciplinary expert committees and new collaborations, leading the creation of RIVO.
Two Montreal physicians, Pierre Dongier and Cecile Rousseau, were a driving force behind RIVO. Its founding vision was for a result-oriented, low-overhead network of trauma experts capable of addressing the various consequences of organized violence.
Obtaining our official status as a charity in 1993, RIVO has become a go-to resource for difficult post-trauma cases. Our independent non-profit organization is prepared and ready to help needful refugees and their families obtain appropriate counselling and support. We are a lean organization, capable of responding creatively as needs arise in an ever-changing landscape.
Much of RIVO’s funding comes from generous men and women who strive for a better world and who see the well-being of refugees as indispensable to that of our society.
RIVO is an acronym for Réseau d'intervention auprès des personnes ayant subi la violence organisée. Quite the mouthful indeed! “RIVO” will do just fine!