Today was our last day of project work. We headed back to Shiphrah home with the intention of hosting a staff training/education session and spending time with the littles. When we pulled in, the workers were finishing up laundry, so while we waited for them to finish we blew up balloons and played with the toddlers.
After a bit of time, we started the training and education with the staff. And by we I mean the team minus Gillian & I (Ashley). While the ladies did their talk, we wrangled 14 toddlers who called us Aunty and didn’t listen to a word we said because it wasn’t in Swahili 😂 It was an eventful couple of hours; we sang songs, coloured, got some snuggles, smiles & laughs… and a few tears. Although it was a little bit of semi controlled chaos with the young ones, we were thankful to give the staff a little break so they could take part in the training. We needed a nap after though…
The training with the staff was a rich time. The group was quiet and varied experience represented in the group. 12 people join four circle, some have been on staff for more than 10 years and others less than 10 days. We talked of the types and cycle of violence. The team talked of the effect of violence and trauma on children, and of how to treat children who have experienced violence and also best practises for keeping children safe. The team shared some personal stories of resilience. This really touch some of the staff and they shared their own stories of hardship and healing. Shiphra Home truly is a home of safety and acceptance for all people.
Leaving the orphanage left us with complex feelings. My brain is feeling full and I think I’ll be processing my experiences for a while.