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."
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.
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