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Heal a Hurting Heart - Principles of working with children
Make the program enjoyable, the more active and fun you make this the more children will learn and grow.
Be active try not to sit still for more than 15 minutes. Stop for breaks, games, crafts and refreshments.
Review the previous sessions before starting a new session.
Encourage the children to reread the session before going on to the next session.
Allow the children to participate and share at their own comfort level. Never command them to share, nurture and comfort them.
Be aware that some children may need further individual work after the session with a professional counselor.
Always be clear with the children about what you are going to do.
Ensure the children, their parents or guardians clearly understand the reasons for the trauma healing sessions.
Some older children who have completed the program can serve as peer mentors and role models for the new groups.
As you prepare to journey with this Heal a Hurting Heart programme, you need to take seven main steps along the path.
This training may trigger your own trauma and you may realise you have issues you need to address.
Seek help from your Pastor, friend, confident, counselor etc and ensure that you have short debriefing sessions at the end of each session.
Have at least one facilitator for every ten children. Additional staff can be helpful and can be trained as facilitators.
Between six and eleven years old.
Traumatized from loss of parents, lived through a war, a hurricane, flood, volcanic eruption, earthquake or domestic violence.
Ensure all children have an authorization letter signed by their parents or guardians before participating in the program.
Verify that facilitators do not have a criminal record. Ensure police checks are carried out if available.
Obtain a written reference from their Pastor if necessary
Two adults should be with each group of children at all times.
Ensuring transparency and providing additional help in case a child becomes ill or is injured.
Find out about and comply with government policies regarding children in your area.
3. Parents or Guardians
Hold a meeting with the parents or guardians prior to the commencement of the programme to help you understand:
What their child wants to learn.
How this might affect their children initially and long term.
How to listen to their children and support them in this process.
Local leaders should be aware of the Heal a Hurting Heart sessions and approve.
Allow about two hours for each lesson.
Split into two sessions with a short break between the sessions.