Law Enforcement Officials From South and Central Asia Learn About OHU’s SPARCS

In April, a delegation of law enforcement officials from South and Central Asia visited One Hope United at our downtown Chicago office. The visit was hosted by WorldChicago, a non-profit that coordinates international visitor exchanges in Chicago sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

The goal of the delegates’ visit was to explore the role of law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting international crimes and also to gain a deeper understanding of the reasons behind youth violence and the effective practices for promoting nonviolence among individuals.

We introduced our guests to SPARCS (Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress), a therapy program that teaches youth how to cope with their traumas, which can make them less likely to turn to violence to solve their issues.

OHU’s Jill Novacek, SVP of Community Based Family Services, served as the presenter during the visit. One of the highlighted tools that SPARCS teaches is mindfulness, which helps the youth better understand and manage their response to stress. Jill led the group through a mindfulness exercise which encouraged everyone to stop and take a moment to acknowledge their own pulse.


Mr. Mohammad Shahriar ALAM (Bangladesh)
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Immigration, Department of Police

Mr. Prasanta BONIK (Bangladesh)
Senior Superintendent, Kashimpur Central Jail

Mr. Md Zhahidur RAHAMAN (Bangladesh)
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Department of Police

Mr. Shakir SHAYAKHMETOV (Kazakhstan)
Head, International Cooperation and Public Relations Department, Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies, Prosecutor General’s Office of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Mr. Ishan Uthpala Sandaruwan JAYARATHNA (Sri Lanka)
Assistant Superintendent of Customs, Sri Lanka Customs

Interested in learning more about SPARCS? Check out this video featuring the program and one of its funders, Get IN Chicago.

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