Update: A TRI team went to Kenya in the Summer of 2013.
From July 16-27, 2013 an intensive Train the Trainers project was held in Nairobi, Kenya. The Community Resiliency Model was taught to 15 participants representing Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. Two translators were used to work and translate into Arabic – for our Sudanese participants – and Somali for our Somali participants. A total of 60 training hours was spent over this ten day period.
This was a unique CRM training because it had participants from different countries, customs and languages present. In addition, participants represented a variety of professional and non-professional backgrounds. It would be safe to say, though, that all the participants work in their homelands with people struggling with a combination of poverty, war, refugee/displaced population status, religious and or tribal conflict, gender based violence and the marginalization of people that can result from any and all of these conditions. The trainees were excited to learn about the neuroscience of trauma and were enthusiastic trainers. We are grateful to learn from the Africans about their cultures and how to interweave CRM skills into their communities.
Wendy Flick from UUSC, a member of the team commented, “One of the greatest traumas identified by the participants was that of the daily struggle against hunger and poverty. Some of the groups expressed a desire to learn some techniques to combat these forces. I mentioned the tire garden project that UUSC has worked on with Haitian partners and they expressed a keen interest. So I put together a Power Point with photos I had on my laptop of tire gardens and gave them a one hour presentation which was enthusiastically embraced by all participants. I feel it was an important complement to the trauma training. The trauma training has both upstream and downstream components; i.e. it addresses recovery from trauma which has already been experienced, as well as supporting people to develop their resiliency to any future traumatic events that may arise, therefore in a sense permitting the individuals to expand their resiliency zone sufficiently to prevent a traumatic event from destabilizing their nervous system. Similarly, the tire gardens represent an upstream solution to the trauma of hunger and poverty, ideally nipping the problem in the bud before it becomes a trauma.”
We will continue to work in Africa and we are now in the process of planning of a project in conjunction with Village Network Africa in 2015.
A TRI team was invited to Kenya by the Kenyan Association of Professional Counselors due to our association with Gloria Simoneaux, a talented expressive art therapist who now works with Save the Children and a nonprofit, Caring for the Kids of Kenya, run by a remarkable woman, Linda Wilson, an American who supports an orphanage near Nairobi.The TRI team conducted a Trauma Resiliency Model Training for the Kenyan Association of Professional Counselors. Participants were from many parts of Kenya and one of the participants who heard about our work, took a bus from Rwanda to attend the training. We were deeply moved by their life stories and how they were able to embrace the TRM skills so easily.