During one of our "How to Love a Grieving Child" trainings in Malawi, a participant shared the plight of one particular orphan. This young boy, who was rejected and forced out of his village community because of his highly aggressive behaviors, is now back living in the village. Why? Because a trained caregiver recognized that the root cause of the boy's behavior was actually grief and this caregiver felt inspired and equipped to encourage the village leaders to allow the boy back in the village. Through the efforts of this HGCA trained caregiver, the boy is now in school and living a healthy and productive life in the village.
Ernest Shaka attended our very first "How to Love a Grieving Child Trainer of Trainers" workshop in Lesotho last year. Ernest serves as the Director of Counseling for Baylor Children's Hospital in Lesotho. In his capacity, Ernest coordinates all counseling efforts for mother and children who have just received a positive HIV diagnosis. "I knew grief was a root cause of every addiction and medicine compliance issue faced by those I counseled, so I was determined to use my new skills in every session. The results have been more than I could have expected," said Ernest.
Justine, who works as a caregiver for an orphanage, participated in our "Hope for Grieving Children" trainings. She shared these comments after a follow up visit to the orphanage. "I have been so frustrated with work and the conditions, so much that I was ready to come and hand in my resignation letter today, but after your training, the follow-up visit and words of encouragement and prayer, I have rescinded my decision."
Then there is Vivian, who attended one of our trainings and was so inspired she started an organization called Vision of Hope rescues teen orphan girls from the streets. Vision of Hope provides shelter, daily rehabilitation care and ultimately home placement for the girls they take in. Today, Vision of Hope has rescued over 45 street girls.
One mother, Edith, shared how the training gave her the ability avoid becoming angry at the children in her care. She testified to having greater patience and understanding towards the children that results in greater peace in the home. As we talked to Edith about how she has felt more support in caring for the children, she said, "this training has also helped me. It helped me recognize my own grief and receive healing."