Blog from Anne-Marie
Ok – when it was decided we would run a 6 session emotional first aid training course I was naturally excited – I was convinced I would be helping the local staff to understand the emotions behind the behaviours and help them understand that YP get ‘stuck’ with a behaviour and that is a coping mechanism for them – I hope I’ve done that and given them the theory behind it.
I have helped them understand the difference between stress and anxiety – I have given them an understanding of eating disorders and OCD – all of which was totally new info for all of them – I know this training impacts on each person individually BUT I wasn’t in the slightest prepared for the emotional impact this would have on these course members. The way this training has changed their thinking and emotions is beyond belief. I cannot break confidences by revealing some of the most enormous changes and how this has empowered staff to take the physical and emotional well-being onto another level but believe me when I say we ALL cried as one of the stories unfolded. Because of this training lives of young lives will change for the better – definitely!
The regimes in some of the children’s home is beyond harsh (not all homes) but to hear the punishment given out to a young girl who had been raped by two men will haunt me forever – but because of this disclosure things will change. That would not have happened without this training.
We have such a rich mixture of wonderful participants on this training including the lady that runs the local prison. She shared with us how her thinking and has changed and how she is looking at incidents with her inmates in a different light – it truly is inspirational. She also says that she will not allow her staff to identify the women by their crime now – big big changes and respect for others!
I don’t think I could pick any one part of this training as being the ‘moment’ that changed thinking and looked at YP in a more positive light – I think the ‘lightbulb moments’ have been happening throughout. A huge thank you to the EFA staff who have made this possible (and a rumour that Stuart may be coming over to Kenya to train trainers!!! – amazing!!)
I don’t think there has ever been one day where I have felt more emotionally drained through work – but also hopeful for the changes to come for the YP.
We have our last session next week and have really mixed emotions about that – hope I can come back and train more soon!
Take a look at all of the work Anne-Marie and her team are undertaking in Kenya on their website: