When communities are in distress, whether because of war, natural disasters, political upheavals, or economic dislocations, we know that children suffer.
Focusing in the context of community wellness can help communities discover culturally meaningful ways of alleviating the suffering of their children.
For example, we know (statistically) that the education of girls is crucial to the future economic well-being of a country. Yet the simple importation of Western-style educational establishments can result in cultural resistance and even violence, deepening the terror and suffering of children. Focusing Initiatives International’s methods of locally-based needs assessments and building projects from local cultural strengths can create opportunities to empower families to address the education and well-being of their children, and ultimately of their community, in ways that are indigenous and accessible.
The issues children face are formidable. War and natural disasters create orphans and often force children to take on adult roles long before they are ready. Economic dislocation can increase the rate of domestic violence and abuse. Even when a family remains intact, when parents and care-givers are under great stress, there may be little listening space where children can be heard and supported.
At Focusing Initiatives International, we affirm the effectiveness of community-based change, and understand that communities themselves contain the possibility for wellness and positive growth. In this context, we help teachers, parents and caregivers learn how to be with the children in a new listening way that is still respectful of long-held traditions.
In communities experiencing stress that impacts healthy development, the whole system needs supporting. And often, starting with the children is the way to bring wellness to the whole.
For more information contact our experienced team to assess local needs for children, their families and supporting communities.
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