On the 17th to 19th of February I – along with Lisa and Clara, attended a the "ALIVE level 2 – transform for life” workshop. The topic of the workshop is dealing with trauma and being a supportive help during other peoples “healing journeys”.
The workshop took place on the Karigiri hospital campus very nearby the Hope House. I got all of the information by our mentor Valsa. She herself also joins the workshop as a mentor, presenting one or two topics.
In the early time of my volunteer service at the Hope House, I attended level 1 of the workshop and found it very interesting and helpful for my work. Since I am not a professional and I have neither background knowledge or psychological training in order to work with traumatized children, the workshop was useful to get more information, yet a bit of training, on how to deal with children's trauma.
To give you in in view on how the lessons helped me, I will state one example. I learned, that it is rather important to just listen to peoples problems, than to provide solutions. It can be very supporting and comforting to feel like you can open up to someone. No matter whether your listener agrees with you on all your thoughts and possible past actions, the listener stays with you and provides a safe space to open up. Ever since I learned this in level 1 of the workshop, I recognize situations where I could put this into practise. An example is when I go on walks with the children and a girl comes up to me - she opens up about her past and her family and due to the workshop, I now know how to react. My role as a listener remains and I know for myself that the girl doesn’t need any advise or solution on how she should deal with her past. As she feels supported and cared for she will find her own way while I can travel along with her on her healing journey.
My role in her healing journey is called the fellow traveler, as we discussed in the workshop.
Apart from the things I learned, it was also really nice to meet a bunch of new people from all parts of India: Mumbai, the north of Andhra Pradesh, Kottayam and Chittoor as well as Vellore. The instructor of the workshop Sunny is from Melbourne - Australia.
Furthermore, it was good to chat and discuss about topics, getting to know different perspectives and ideas on not only trauma but also religion (as the workshop was a Christian workshop). I feel like I learned a lot and I realized how nice it is to begin to learn about new things I don’t usually deal with.
After the workshop I gained new energy and courage to working with the children and the project of the Hope House. I still keep in touch with some of the participants about our experience.
If you are interested in joining workshops in the future or looking for further information feel free to use this link to their website: https://transform4life.org.au/alive/