Monday, March 8, 2010

Stress management workshop held for youth in Eldoret

SOS Children’s Village Eldoret hosted a 10-day group counselling workshop on stress management in February for its youth. Approximately 80 youth attended the seminar whose aim was to raise young peoples’ awareness of how to cope with stress. The workshop also enlightened the youth on various avenues through which they can make their lives a bit easier and have a more open minded perspective and attitude in the future.

Dubbed “emptying the emotional distress” and presided over by Paul Boyle, a trauma and healing specialist, the workshop provided a forum for youth to relive their traumatic experiences and were helped to deal with the unfinished business in their lives. The facilitator managed to give guidance to the youth to examine what constitutes a well lived and successful life, as well as learning coping skills to enable them to deal with the pressures of modern life. He helped them to focus on finding meaning and purpose in life, educated them in regard to protective factors, as well as taught them skills of coping with trauma.

They were encouraged to reflect upon what he called the “ingredients of a balanced life” and to attempt to put those ingredients into practice. The climax of the workshop was a foot massage for all the participants.

The feedback from the youth was encouraging as most of them were happy to have gained some level of self awareness. “This is a wonderful program which should have come earlier”, said Francis. Angelina said that she had greatly benefited from the workshop and wished it could be regular. ‘It is my hope that we will have such forums more frequently”, she said. Others were touched to the core and made confessions of their mischief to the care givers.

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