Working with Children Who Have Suffered Traumatic Events

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Working with Children Who Have Suffered Traumatic Events

In consideration of the large number of children affected by traumatic events in the region, a Working with Children training workshop was organised and held in Jos from 26th to 28th July, 2018.  There were 30 participants from Northern Nigeria – an area particularly affected by violent clashes, as well as the Boko Haram insurgency.  It is particularly important that those aiming to work with children should not still need treatment for their own trauma, as this is a particularly sensitive group to work with.  Participants, who are already working with children, were selected from states in the north east , the majority of whom had already participated in the other three earlier workshops:

  • Trauma Consciousness and Resilience TCR (Basic);
  • Forgiveness and Reconciliation (FaR)
  • Trauma Consciousness and Resilience TCR (Advanced)

and were joined by two colleagues from partner organizations in Kenya.

As the fourth training in the Trauma Consciousness and Resilience series, Working with Children was restricted to participants working with children.  It aimed to provide first responders with the information and skills needed to help children who have experienced traumatizing events to build their resilience, process their experiences and begin the healing process.

In previous workshops, a video showing the life of Tonier Cain (a survivor of long years of every kind of abuse and with an ACE score of 10) had been used to illustrate Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE).  Tonier Cain was able to attend this workshop in person to introduce the ACE study and score, and to give some notions on treating victims of trauma and abuse with respect (RICH technique).  She gave inspiring talks on these topics, while being a living example of how extreme adversity can be overcome, so a symbol of hope.  There was also a public showing of her video which was very well attended and received.

The workshop was organised by Carefronting with support from the Global Center on Co-operative Security, which also arranged for the participation of two Kenyans, in consideration of the similarities between the situation in coastal regions in the North-east of Kenya and that in Northern Nigeria. 

Topics covered include:  coherent narrative; responses to trauma; how to question children; the impact of temperament; empathy and stress; Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE); building resilience in children; listening skills; child development; establishing connection; child-friendly spaces; techniques for working with children.

The workshop was very well-received. The participants particularly appreciated the content, the methods used and the informal atmosphere of the workshop.

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