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Trauma Healing for Schools

Due to the multiple financial, economic, and political crises in Lebanon, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, Beirut blast on August 4, 2020, and continued challenges (shortage of petrol, diesel, resources …), children and teens, similar to adults, are dealing with many difficult emotions: loneliness, anxiety, anger, sadness, loss of purpose… The only difference is that they do not know how to express them in a healthy way without hurting themselves or others.

Bible Society Lebanon in partnership with the General Secretary of Catholic schools in Lebanon launched a children’s trauma healing program to equip catechism teachers, priests, pastors, psychologists and every person who has experience working with children and teenagers.

The curriculum is full of stories, activities, arts, and games based on psychological and biblical perspectives that help children and teenagers identify, name, express, and navigate their emotions in a positive manner.

The purpose of this program is to assist children as they go back to school after almost two years of online learning and lockdowns. Some of them got affected directly by the explosion, others heard, saw, or felt it. Some are also living with anxiety and fear as they see their parents overwhelmed with all the ongoing stress. The Trauma Healing Program in schools will help them in the process of healing – one heart at a time!

On October 14, 2021, the initiative was launched via Zoom to explain to school principals the importance of this program and how it would be implemented throughout the academic year. The first training took place on October 22-24 at the General Secretariat of Catholic schools for 25 catechism teachers.

After the training, the feedback was the below:

“Attending this training was one of the best experiences that I have ever had! I thank God for the wisdom he gave me to leave my parish for the weekend because now I am personally feeling better and kids will definitely benefit from this amazing program.”

 

“I truly hope that all Catechism teachers in Lebanon would take this program. As adults, we found it so beneficial so it will definitely do miracles for kids.” 

 

“It’s amazing how the program is organized. The games are well structured and will let the kids not only have fun but to grasp the information and express their feelings in an easy way.”

 

“I loved the story of Rami & Leila. I was waiting impatiently to know the end! I bet that kids will love it.”

 

“It’s the first time that I am going to share a personal experience. I have never done it before but I somehow feel safe and supported to express my feelings: my daughter passed away three years ago. She was 30 years old. Till now, I cannot use the word “died”. I end each day crying, and my pain is growing day after day, year after year. I never felt ready to open up; thanks to you I now feel like I am one step ahead of my grief journey. I loved the concept of the grief street as it helped me understand myself better. As for the lesson on the importance of listening, I wish it can be presented to my friends, family, and colleagues. No one listened to me, no one understood me. All I heard were statements like Jesus chose her to be with him, or it has been three years from the accident you should feel better by now, or Christians should be stronger than that…Each time I received such comments, I felt pain in my heart. In this training, you really heard me, I cried, and I am feeling better. I cannot thank you enough!”

 

“In one of the drawing activities, I drew for the first time in my life something that reminds me of a past experience. I always thought that I was okay and I moved on but these three days helped me discover that I am still stuck! This insight was so powerful. It helped me a lot to find answers to many questions in my head.”

 

“Thank you, Bible Society team! I know that many members are working hard other than giving the training so thank you for each one of you!”

 

“I liked the way the training was done. The chemistry between the trainers and their way of presenting helped a lot not to lose focus.”

 

“I was upset from many psychologists because of the many wrong concepts they have… I refused for so long to attend trainings given by them especially if they are also using Biblical perspective. After this training I really changed my mind.”

 

December 2021

A second training took place on December 3, 4 and 5 for catechism teachers and principals at the Congregation of the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family (Ste. Famille Maronite) schools coming from all over Lebanon, where 31 participants joined the training at Notre Dame Du Mont in Fatqa.

The sessions were full of shared experiences from different perspectives across several areas in Lebanon.

The team is coordinating a third training in January 2022 for Antelias Maronite Diocese schools with the aim to reach as many schools as possible.

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