Feb 5, 2019

What do Uganda and Nepal have in common?

Students in Nepal participate in a healing circle
Students in Nepal participate in a healing circle

The youth program has been such an awakening and enlivening experience for the students to know about themselves, their life purpose, what makes them happy, creating and respecting personal boundaries, and how they can bring changes in themselves… they are now more empathetic, they know how to comfort their sad emotions, they listen to each other’s stories, and they act with love. I would have been a different person if I had this training when I was a teenager.”

~ Teacher and youth leadership program facilitator

This testimonial from a teacher in Nepal speaks to the power of our culturally adaptable, youth trauma healing program, which was piloted with orphans and vulnerable children at a school outside Kathmandu, and which we are excited to bring to Uganda.

Following our trauma healing workshop with community leaders in southwest Uganda last summer, we’ve been building a new version of the program specifically for younger students, so our partner, Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project, can launch healing circles in both its secondary and primary schools - helping youth who have been affected by HIV/AIDS and sexual abuse heal from childhood trauma.

We are excited to announce that after months of hard work, the curriculum is complete!  With support from art therapist, clinician, and curriculum developer, Leslie Davidson, MA MFT, the Life Skills and Leadership Development Program (LSLDP) weaves together creative and expressive art with social and emotional learning to help young survivors of trauma start their healing journeys in a safe, nurturing space facilitated by local teachers who become not just educators, but also mentors, counselors, and healing champions in the community.

Because of your love, support, and generosity, these teachers will have the tools to disrupt cycles of trauma and harm, and help young survivors transform their pain into the power of empathy, courage, resilience, and connection.

Stay tuned for our next update - including news about a healing group started by a special teacher in Uganda...

With gratitude - from our heart to yours,
The Gratitude Alliance Family

It's finished! Our curriculum for primary students
It's finished! Our curriculum for primary students
Our team with teachers in Uganda last summer
Our team with teachers in Uganda last summer
Nov 5, 2018

Update on your gift: Healing trauma in Uganda

This summer, we trained community leaders in southwest Uganda in trauma healing and resilience, so in turn, they could support survivors of sexual abuse in their community.

What we didn't know then was that the impact of our training would expand beyond the borders of Uganda and impact hundreds of youth in Kenya as well.

The Kilgoris Project educates and cares for 600 preschool aged children and 500 primary school children in rural Kenya. Their Education Officer traveled all the way from rural Kenya to rural Uganda to join our workshop this summer, bringing invaluable perspectives from a neighboring country, with its own unique history, culture, and learnings about holistic community development.

We are thrilled to share that she has since returned to Kenya and is training other educators in their communities about the impact of trauma in children and youth - how to identify symptoms and build resilience among survivors through early interventions.

Stay tuned for further updates, after we complete our youth trauma healing curriculum by the end of the year, and support school teachers in Uganda to implement healing circles in the local primary and secondary school.

It takes a village to help transform cycles of trauma into legacies of healing. Thank you for playing such a critical role in the healing journeys of survivors around the world. 

From our hearts to yours,
The Gratitude Alliance Family 

Aug 7, 2018

Update on your gift: healing trauma in Uganda

Some experiences in life are so emotionally rich that there are no perfect words to describe them. That's how we feel about our recent time in Uganda. 

Read on for a project update from our work to support survivors of child sexual abuse and youth orphaned by HIV/AIDS.


We just returned from the village of Kambuga, in southwest Uganda, where we facilitated a trauma healing workshop with 25 inspiring community leaders - school teachers, social workers, religious leaders, medical workers, lawyers, police and many others - in partnership with Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project and Edja Foundation.

Some of the topics we covered in our workshop:

  • the impacts of trauma - physical, mental, emotional, and social / behavioral
  • Fight, Flight, and Freeze response in children vs. adults
  • cultivating safety, a foundation to healing trauma
  • how to resource oneself and others when triggered
  • creativity and play in healing trauma
  • listening and counseling skills
  • how to heal from grief and loss
  • myths about sexual abuse in the community
  • short- and long-term support for survivors of sexual abuse

The workshop ended with profound commitments from each participant about how they can bring trauma-informed and healing-centered care into their work in the community.


The evaluation feedback was very positive: 88% of the participants "strongly agreed" (and the remaining 12% "agreed") that they gained the confidence and skills to better support survivors in the community, using words like "educative" "informative" "wonderful" "insightful" and "tremendous" to describe their experiences at the workshop.


 

Feedback and Testimonials

"I have really admired the skills used throughout this training, the facilitators, techniques used, and the subject content that was passed on to us. We hope to pass the skills and knowledge to our friends and staff members and create a better community." 

"It is the best training I ever got and it was inclusive."

"This training has showed that we shall have a bright future for young women and girls."

"I was so happy because I learned a lot for myself, my family, and my community."




Next Steps

The training was just the beginning. We are excited to continue our partnership with Nyaka and Edja, supporting school teachers to serve as facilitators and mentors of healing-centered programs at the local schools. Stay tuned for updates on Phase II of this project. 

Joy and Inspiration


We were invited to a Nyaka grandmother party where 400+ grannies who each care for between 5 and 25 children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, gathered together to sing, dance, and celebrate community.

 

We also joined over 1,000 local villagers in a Walk to End Gender Based Violence, organized by Edja Foundation, our amazing partner who provides holistic support for child survivors of sexual violence.

 

Gratitude

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to the donors and supporters who have taken a stand to end cycles of trauma for orphaned children and survivors of child sexual abuse.

Your love has helped water the seeds of healing that the local community has planted -- and that will create a legacy of healing for generations to come!

*************

Check out this short clip of the "Good Morning" song taught by retired Teacher Alice, who now serves as a peer counselor in the community. This is the BEST way to start each day!

For more photos and real time updates from our projects around the world, visit our Facebook page.

From our hearts to yours,

Global Gratitude Alliance

 
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