By: Laura Bennett
Across the Western world, mental health and the impact of traumatic events on our wellbeing, is increasingly a field of study that’s prioritised and valued.
Sadly, in a lot of the African regions where African Enterprise is based, many in the community acutely feel the affects of trauma but aren’t supported in recovery.
In South Sudan, students struggle with the realities of war and violence, losing loved ones, and the devastating effects of sexual abuse. In many cases of trauma, displacement from family is a factor, and teachers find instances of school dropouts, truancy or violence are linked to these experiences in the students’ lives.
Up until this point, despite the prevalence of trauma-based distress, no healing or debriefing interventions have existed within the institutions for teachers and students. Those affected have lacked the skills to process and recover from their trauma, and as a result, cycles of violence and absenteeism have remained.
In October African Enterprise met with a number of school officials to propose the idea of a Bible based healing program in collaboration with Bible Society South Africa. Built on a foundation informed by current mental health best practices, this model is ideal for grassroots communities and designed to lead to sustainable long-term trauma care.
Celestine Juma from the Jubek State Ministry of Education said, “The State ministry of education is going to support this project as it will help our learners in a great way seeing that many are still struggling with various traumatic experiences that greatly hamper their learning & teaching abilities… many children can benefit and receive healing [from this program] and live whole lives free of trauma and its side effects.”
African Enterprise are now seeking resources to hold a Trauma Healing Workshop for a number of counseling teachers in Juba, South Sudan. The training days will equip teachers to recognise the signs of trauma, and help students express their experiences through stories, games, creative arts and other activities. After the workshop African Enterprise will also work with the counseling teachers to undertake weekly trauma healing activities in the selected schools.
If you’d like to find out more about this project please go to: https://africanenterprise.com.au/missions/
Article supplied with thanks to African Enterprise who bring the good news of Jesus to the people of Africa.
About the Author: Laura Bennett is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.