Friday, July 07, 2006
Trainer Olayeela Daste, far left, demonstrates some musical instruments that caregivers can use to promote healing in children.
Mercy Corps Hurricane Katrina Stories; submitted by Tanya Zumach, Senior Web Marketing Manager
Using funds donated by thousands of supporters, Mercy Corps is helping restore a collapsed system of crucial support services for youth in the Gulf Coast. One element of the initiative, Comfort for Kids, reaches out to educators, social workers, and health professionals, giving them the tools they need to minister to traumatized youngsters.
Trainer Olayeela Daste asks the participants in one session to think about how to re-create for children the "pillars of security" - people, routine, ritual, and place. For example, establishing a predictable routine of story times and other activities goes a long way toward restoring a sense of order. For younger children, playing with construction toys can provide a sense of rebuilding their environment.
For children of all ages, workbooks provide a powerful tool for processing traumatic experiences and moving on. Mercy Corps is providing thousands of copies of two publications, My Hurricane Story and My Katrina and Rita Workbook, to schools and health care workers in Louisiana and Mississippi. Together with a curriculum, "What Happened to My World," the resources guide children and adults in the healing process.
Rebuilding the ravaged Gulf Coast isn't simply a matter of bricks and mortar, plywood and stucco. Like the splintered houses and barren landscape, the emotional well-being of the area's residents - especially the children - must also be carefully repaired.
Posted by Network for Good at 11:54 AM