In Peace School

Congo Peace School: Training in trauma-informed care

The Congo Peace School teachers and staff continue to be trained in the tenets of peace & nonviolence. Amani Matabaro, trained at the University of Rhode Island in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s prinicples, leads the sessions, and reports that the teachers and staff are deeply engaged in the training.

One teacher responded: “We are training and educating these children differently. I wish I had had a chance to get educated on these topics when I was [the students’] age. They will not be violent, they are very lucky to grow up understanding what equality, humility, respect, peace, courage, self-worth and especially what healing and forgiveness mean.”

During the training last week, the faculty practiced the principles of nonviolence and peace through role-playing, learning to identify and respond to the signs of trauma.

Some of the examples given to the teachers and staff to understand when students are showing signs of trauma:

· Weeping/crying for no reasons
· Sadness
· They may want to stay very close to a grown up person of their choice because they have fears
· They have nightmares
· They want to stay in isolation
· They show signs of delay in physical development
· Their sleep is disturbed
· They rebel
· Disobedience
· Wet the bed beyond the age of 6
· Disrupted appetite
· Physical health issues: stomachache, headache

The teachers are trained to respond to trauma in the following ways, and to immediately refer them to the school counselor.

· Showing or expressing affection to the students, affection can help them to heal
· Take them in their arms and talk to them gently
· Be very patient and nice with them
· Help them express themselves in words or drawings and games for those who can
· Give them toys if possible
· They need to be comforted
· Use an easy and clear language with them
· Listen and respond to their questions
· Give them space and time to speak about their dreams
· Encourage them to make friends and build their hopes together

If you want to join the movement, a monthly donation of as little as $3 / month helps us plan for the future as we grow from the current four grades to fill the school’s classrooms with all 12 grades. Learn more and make a commitment to peace at https://www.patreon.com/congopeaceschool.

Thank you to our Action Kivu family, members around the world who are part of making this vision of peace a reality!

Action Kivu’s founding director Amani Matabaro speaks with two students at the Congo Peace School

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