Nov 8, 2019

How one person is creating a ripple of healing in southwest Uganda

Teacher Lydia
Teacher Lydia

This is Teacher Lydia. As a 6th grade teacher at Nyaka Primary School, she educates children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in a community in southwest Uganda that has also been impacted by sexual violence.

Thanks to your support, Lydia attended our 3-day trauma healing workshop last year.

The workshop was so impactful that she immediately started teaching her students what she learned.

When we returned this year, Teacher Lydia's students already knew how to express how they were feeling and how to apply skills like deep breathing, play, and exercise to "resource" themselves when they are sad, angry, worried, or stressed. 

She also started a healing club for girls - so they could build supportive connection with each other, and activate the community to stop gender based violence. 

And now, Teacher Lydia is on a mission to spread healing to others in her community. In the last month alone, she's taught mental health and healing skills to students and teachers at 4 local primary schools, and will teach at another 5 schools this year. She's also doing home visits to students and community members who need deeper, one-on-one support.

And she's just getting started. 

Breaking cycles of harm starts with prevention - with supporting kids who are impacted by trauma to heal their wounds before they transfer them to others.

So Lydia isn't just supporting hundreds of students today - she is impacting thousands of lives in the future.

It only takes one person to spark a ripple of change for an entire community. 

Thank you for being that spark.

Wtih gratitude - from our hearts to yours,
Gratitude Alliance

Moving our bodies makes us feel better!
Moving our bodies makes us feel better!
Art is healing!
Art is healing!
Every lesson needs an agenda
Every lesson needs an agenda
Jul 22, 2019

Live from Uganda - Healing in Community


Greetings, from Uganda! 


In partnership EDJA, a program of Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project, last week we held 3 workshops for 55 community leaders - equipping them with tools to become healing advocates who can now: identify trauma, support survivors to heal, and help break cycles of violence in the community.

Participants included teachers, social workers, legal advocates, health workers, police, council persons, and religious leaders. Each leader plays a different role to support survivors -- whether the survivor is a young child who was raped by a family member, a woman who was been beaten by her husband, or a youth who lost his parents to HIV/AIDS and is now cared for by a granny, together with 5 other orphaned children in a single-room house.

 

Check out some of these photos from the workshops:


[Local police officer learns about the physical signs and symptoms of trauma]


[A grandmother learns Emotional First Aid]


[Empathy through expressive arts: What does it feel like to be a Victim and a Survivor?]

 

At the end of the workshop, participants shared how they will implement their learnings to serve as Healing Advocates in the community:

  • Provide counseling services to survivors 
  • Pass laws to protect survivors of sexual and gender based violence
  • Ensure justice by prosecuting perpetrators
  • Rehabilitate both survivors and perpetrators to become change agents

 

We also conducted emotional intelligence workshops with students at Nyaka Primary School and Nyaka Vocational Secondary School - teaching them how to “resource” when they are feeling sad, stressed, angry, or scared.

[Students share different emotions they feel: happy, sad, scared, surprised, and confident]

 

We capped the week by joining 3,000+ community members for the inspirational grand opening of the second EDJA Healing Center in Kanungu, and EDJA / Nyaka’s annual March to End Gender Based Violence. 

 

It takes a global village to heal, and it starts with YOU.  Your compassion and generosity is helping to heal generational cycles of trauma and harm. 

On behalf of survivors around the world, our deepest gratitude.

Apr 22, 2019

This video will inspire and move you beyond words...

Dear Community, 

Your generosity is helping to build the capacity of local leaders in rural Uganda to support young victors of sexual violence in their village.

Now, you can see the inspiring work of our partner, Edja Foundation, in action, as they courageously combat sexual abuse and help survivors start their healing journeys... and, you can even see clips from the trauma healing workshop we held with community leaders last summer. 

This powerful video shows how -

One Motorcycle

One Cell Phone

One Social Worker

One Legal Advocate

One Victor

... is enough to spark change.

With much to overcome, Edja is leading a new conversation in Uganda about what it takes to stand up against sexual violence, and say Enough is Enough!

Watch the video now.

We are deeply humbled and honored to join Edja Foundation again this July, to support local teachers, medical workers, police officers, legal advocates, spiritual leaders, and peer counselors to heal cycles of trauma. While there, we will:

  • Continue training local leaders in Kambuga village in peer counseling, emotional first aid, and breaking cycles of violence
  • Provide dedicated training and support to primary and secondary school teachers on facilitating youth healing circles
  • Train school teachers in Kutamba village in trauma-informed and healing-centered care
  • Join 1,000 local villagers in Edja's 2nd annual March Against Gender Based Violence 

YOUR generosity and love is what fuels this critical work. And for that, we are forever grateful.

Stay tuned for more updates, following our work this summer.

With gratitude - from our hearts to yours,
Gratitude Alliance

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