There is Hope!
Here are 2 booklets for download in thirteen different languages: The "There is Hope for Me!" An Interactive Trauma Recovery Workbook for Children, and the "There is Hope" Facilitators Guide. We use this for trauma counseling with children who have gone through a collective trauma.
This little booklet was written by Phyllis Kilbourn, one of the world's best authors of books and curricula on working with children in need, we think! We work together with her crisis care training: https://crisiscaretraining.org/
We first got the booklet from her in English and in French for Haiti, and we then had it translated and adapted into Arabic, Albanian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian. It is free to use!
We first used these booklets ourselves in Haiti, 10 months after the 2010 quake. There we taught Haitian Christian youth to use them with children in primary schools. (You can read stories and see photos on our blog from 2010: www.jjlukasse.blogspot.com.br)
It helped so much! The children could finally tell someone what had happened, for the first time in 10 months. The students really listened to them, cried with them, and then shared a time of worship and prayer together.
We modified the booklet for use in Iraq, then used it in seminars to train Iraqi Christian refugees—young adults who had gone through the same difficulties.
The training consists of working through the booklet with them, using the facilitator guide. Normally we give them some extra training on bereavement, child development, the different intelligences of children, and on our Father’s justice and mercy.
These young adult refugees answered the questions in the booklet, then told about their traumas, fears, etc. in small groups of 3. After sharing, there were many moments of worship and prayer.
It took 1 to 2 weeks, with morning and afternoon sessions, to go through the teachings and booklet with our adult students.
Then when they went through the booklet with the children, it only took about four hours. It could be done in a morning or an afternoon, including one or two breaks.
(Our students could do it faster with the kids, because when we were teaching 25-40 young adults, we needed to be translated from English to Arabic. When the young adults did it with the children, they did not need translation and worked with only 3-4 children each.)
The young adult refugees lived in the same camps where the kids lived, so they already had relationships with the kids or started those relationships. After using the trauma booklet with the children, they could follow up as needed.
The strength of this little booklet: It invites Jesus to come and heal trauma.
Maybe we won’t live in the same neighborhood and will only be able to spend a few hours listening to the children’s stories, holding their hands, and embracing them, but Jesus can always be with them!
It’s not about us and our help, but about Jesus. When bad dreams or sad days come, He wants to be with them, always. We teach the children to put their hands in the hands of Jesus. And then miracles happen!