Situated in the middle of a village in Amanzimtoti, in KwaZulu Natal, Josephine Makhanya, was an organized and well-established school that showed the active pursuit of supporting their learners. We were warmly welcomed by everyone at this school and once we settled, we immediately got to work. Starting off with the theoretical trauma-informed training with a large group of teachers on a Saturday morning was a testament to this school’s dedicated teaching body.
With a large group of teachers, we had an enriching conversation about trauma in their school environment. Again the teachers posed real-life examples and questions, asking for guidance to appropriately respond to their learner’s behavior. This session affirmed our initial assumption that teachers in South Africa are experiencing a large number of difficult classroom situations resulting from compounded trauma.
A number of teachers stayed to experience the demonstration and work with the learners in the afternoon. A pre-selected group of children from various ages participated in our games with enthusiasm, joy, and wonder. Spending time with the children was an extremely validating experience for all involved. Each child felt seen and heard and we were able to demonstrate to the teachers that simple and fun games and exercises can effectively stabilize, ground, and provide a space where self-healing can occur.
The material and logic behind the work are only as good as its application and once again we left feeling that the teachers seemed more confident and equipped, but also more inspired by the potential that this work holds for healing.
About the author
A dynamic non-profit organisation responding to the crises in South African schools. Our mission is to positively change the face of education by supporting the growth of healthy school communities; addressing trauma and supporting learners to become healthy, caring and capable human beings.