World Awareness for
Children in Trauma
  (WACIT)
WACIT Events

 

The objective of these events is to stablish Interprofessional Networks
raise  Awareness, provide Knowledge and Skills, establish Evidence,
build Capacity, and develop a Sustainable Model
 
  

Highlights of WACIT Events

2016 - Nakivale Refugee Camp, Uganda

A unique experience of empowering refugee graduates to strengthen children's resilience within the settlement


WACIT 6 Continents x 6 Weeks Launch


Child Trauma Workshops and
Children's Resilience Events




During October and November 2016, Professor Panos Vostanis consecutively visited 8 countries; Greece, Turkey, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil, USA , Kenya and Tanzania, and their selected NGOs/centres in these six continents.  He delivered child trauma-focused workshops in each country/centre. These included contributions from key stakeholders. Panos also participated in resilience-building sports, music or arts events with the children in each country.

2016, Nakuru, Kenya:
A girls soccer team like any other, but still in city slum
Playing on a bumpy and dry field, where it was difficult to control the ball, was the least of our worries. The stats in this urban slum alin Kenya are against them in terms of all the risk indicators surrounding them: child maltreatment, domestic violence, alcohol use and offending. 

Where will these girls be in a few years? Can they built enough resilience through school and other supports in the meanwhile? The aim of working with the NGO FANET is to help return young people to school and support teachers in providing a holistic support that goes well beyond their education remit.

         2016, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil - Child mental health user dancing engagement
The music and various dances were to be expected in Brazil! What was so positive to discover was their creative use in engaging children and youth attending a mental health service in the State of São Paulo. Following on from the earlier workshop, it was delightful to see the staff adopt a different role; and the children to respond and enjoy themselves.

Talking of community integration, the scary hip hop class brought together young service users and children or youth from the community at a local community centre run by occupational therapists. Great teaching from the student volunteer!
2016, Australia -  Aborigibal children define their identity
Following the visit in Sydney, it was nice to experience another context in Aboriginal communities by visiting the inland city of Armidale. Again, a strong partnership between Gunawirra, a preschool and primary school.

The model of education in cultural identity complemented by individual and group interventions where needed, appeared consistent with the city. Faced with walls of adult mistrust, these children were able to integrate and appeared comfortable with their emerging identity.

      2016, Jakarta, Indonesia - What a warm welcome from children in Jakarta orphanage!
This could be any school or children's party in the world. Except from the costumes, music and hospitality, which was top class.
And yet, this was an orphanage in Jakarta. There was a strong correlation between the children's and staff smiles, warm welcome and pride - the underlying variable being a nurturing environment for children collected off the streets. A really innovative participatory
research methodology of capturing staff and children's views from Evelyn Sharples at UCL.
2016, Istanbul, Turkey
From the horrors of the streets and the Syrian war to a rebuilding haven at the Hayat in Istanbul

Can you imagine these children selling water and tissues on the streets? Yet they were not long ago before being reunited with their families and getting education through the tireless work of staff and volunteers at the Hayat Foundation. Today we heard of two young people who moved to University too. The games were fun (ear to ear and practicing some theraplay techniques), but through them one could spot their confidence, improvisation and social improvement.

This Syrian boy was such a character and talented dancer. It is hard to imagine what he experienced and told us in a previous interview about his experience on fleeing Syria. So nice to see him thrive through education and family support at the Hayat Foundation. This seemed to facilitate the other children too - from working on the street to directing the activities and creatively expressing themselves.

          2016, Sao Paulo, Brazil
No sanitation, the nearest hospital is impossibly far, nowhere to play, fire and health hazards, and the irregular water and electricity are a self-borrowed favour from the surrounding poor neighbourhoods. Except for TETO NGO and their wonderful volunteers, these families are forgotten by the world at large. 400 unimportant humans, an insignificant anomaly for society – one can add 20 more favelas in the city thankfully covered by TETO, and so many many more. At the same time, luxury shopping centres were unashamingly bursting with life, not that far away…
2016 - Re-integrating children
from slums to Nakuru schools
Many of these kids are stuck in a vicious circle,  they may not fulfil the basics standards to be accepted, have to work outside school if they can find short-term jobs, and not afford the school fees, no matter how small these are.  Schools are caught in this quandary by relying on state subsidies and pupils’ fees to keep going, as well as entry standards. The focus, therefore, should be to bridge the gap through remedial teaching, skills training and sponsorship for children from the slum areas. NGOs and volunteering will hopefully contribute but in the meanwhile, teachers try their admirably best - Geoffrey Machoka (School's Headmaster) pictured here standing beneath the school's motto.
                                                        February 2016 - Back at the Nakuru slums
I was so happy to see Rahab, the baby girl in my profile pictures, eight months on. She has had a baby brother too since then. Also so nice to see my favourite grandmother, and to enjoy my theraplay colleagues’ games with the children and plenty of new reading material for the teacher.  But I had mixed feelings as well. Most plans still on course, but I was disappointed that we had not pulled them together by now. Still a learning curve, particularly for small charities.
                     2015 - Carergivers training on challenging behaviours in Gisenyi, Rwanda
The two main observations were:
  1. How half of the carers for young people with disability had developed in parallel with them moving from the orphanages, then gelled with the new carers.
  2. That they had used a range of appropriate strategies, which they were able to reflect on and consolidate with a framework.
How wonderful to see their confidence grow and, not surprisingly, mirror the young people’s improvement!
                The Ubumwe Community Centre for young people with disabilities in Rwanda
After visiting the community homes (community living programme), one can see how the two have fallen into place and led to such improvements over only six months. Ubumwe means Togetherness!
Young people from orphanages successfully move to community homes in Rwanda
Oscar is showing me his new suit – a long long way from the baby abandoned in a plastic bag by the side of the road. Nouri could not wait to introduce me to her carers. An ex-resident Virginie shows off her hairdressing training on Sifa. And Jo Jo will be walking sooner than he thinks, he certainly did it for the camera!
                                           2015 -  A child trauma training gig in Istanbul
This was the first real WACIT test, and a huge thanks to the Hayat Foundation, particularly Hatice, for being so advanced and hosting the three-day child.
                         Nothing that could not be overcome at the Hayat!
Mixing fun and trauma-focused work? Turkish and Syrian children? Different NGO staff? Three languages? No budget? No problem whatsoever – we had a fabulous day!
And creative activities from IICA in Istanbul...