Today was the one day there wasn’t at least 4 hours of travelling by air or on the rigi-rigi roads – we had a gentler start from the ‘White Castle’, which was welcomed after two very long hot days. We were to spend time with the staff team and local pastors in Arua at the church next door to the CRESS office.
Andrew and Fiona delivered the teaching together – we worked on a number of exercises, one of which was telling our story and active reflective listening in groups of three. Much was shared, listening practiced and really valuable insights gained.
Feedback from Pastors attending the January conference about emotional health and again today building on their skills, remarked on how they had been able to build their own resilience and capacity, whilst managing pastoral issues in the camps more confidently and therefore freeing them to spend more time with the their families.
Coupled with this, the introduction of Precept bible studies focusing on forgiveness was helping their understanding of the bible and ability to support and minister to their people. The change since January in these wonderful people is amazing to behold!
Andrew continued to lead the session while Fiona was whisked away by Eric, the Bishop’s trusty driver through the middle of Arua market to a rendez-vous with the Psychiatric Officer from Arua Hospital (who will be delivering the CATT training) and Edward Mika, to discuss the final selection of candidates from DoKK, DoL and Mijale and make the necessary decisions about the training.
Little more than eight months after I was first led to the writer of the CATT protocol, with increasing awareness that in order to enable the young people of S.Sudan supported by CRESS to make the very most of any educational opportunities and be able to grow and thrive – their emotional health and resilience was key. Now we have been able to identify 15 Sudanese with the appropriate qualifications from a number of different camps and localities, to go forward for training, embedding children’s accelerated trauma therapy skills within their own population, possibly for the first time. Our aim is for the training to take place in Arua before the end of the year.