It’s been so incredible being in Zimbabwe at this very moment in time. More than anything I’m grateful for my nation’s attitude towards a peaceful revolution and I pray everyday that peace becomes synonymous with Zimbabwe.
My plea to Zimbabweans and Zimbabwean sympathizers all over the world is that can we not be part of the bourgeoisie that is desirous only to redress social grievances in order to serve the continued existence of bourgeois society. May we not want all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggle and dangers necessarily resulting from everything going on in Zimbabwe right now.
Having said that, in everything let’s not forget that there are children, they are our future, we have a God given mandate to serve them and serve them well. I’ve reflected on how the Zimbabwe situation affects them here…the journey
Mental health professionals are amazing. They enter into hardened, neglected and traumatised spaces and begin healing processes for those that are fortunate or privileged enough to access them. Sadly most children in their life times will not be able to get the benefit of a clinical social worker, psychologist, counsellor or other social auxilliary worker. That’s where families come in, parents, mothers and fathers.
Professionals are all well and good especially for remedial purposes but as far as preventative and therapeutic measures are concerned, I’m a believer that the family or the child’s care givers are fully capable to do the work and should in fact be encouraged and equipped to do it on a daily basis. Let’s face it there’s not enough therapists or funding to reach every child. Every trauma neglected has a risk of rendering a child deliquent. Neglecting our kids is just not worth that risk.
In our homes and amidst our busy lives, let’s create and be the soft spaces that children need in order to develop healthy attachments. Every child has a right to be listened to and attended to. Never discount the power of grace. What I mean by grace is developing a vocabulary and body language skill set that is conducive to building healthy relationships with the kids in your care. Being mindful that little minds will sponge up and imitate your behaviour. They will learn respect from you, kindness, openness and all those lovely wholesome qualities. That is not to say you can’t be angry or feel the ugly stuff, but just being mindful for example not to destroy a child’s confidence because you had a bad day.
The world is a big and sometimes scary place, bad things happen. Our children should be able to talk to us and trust us so that we can help make those bad moments in their lives not so monumental and negatively pivotal in their development.
If you’re a parent or caregiver, I urge you to join parenting groups and take classes on parenting. You need a license to drive and believe me you need a more important license to drive your children’s development. A child does not come with a manual and that manual is not necessarily inbuilt, so let’s do the best we know how for our kids, they’re most important blessings we will ever receive.
2013 is ready to retire and boy am I glad, its probably been the busiest year of my life. Its been a good year but in my reflections the one thing that stands out for me, the one thing worth mentioning, is the amount of children experiencing trauma and sexual abuse in South Africa.
I’ve met and worked with wonderful people this year whose aim is to put a serious dent in this issue. But alas when we shut our doors for the holidays, it seems it was us that had major dents, scars of battle, fatigue was setting in and the holidays were just in time.
Development work takes patience, anger burns hot in your chest but you have to put it aside to create peace for a child that has seen more than they should. This year especially I’ve been privvy to how different families function and respond to news that their son or daughter has been violated. Some care, some don’t and I began to understand that it is not everyone that values a child. It is not everyone that understands that a child will grow up and they become the fruit of the seed invested in them in their formative years.
I was confronted with a sobering thought, these endless cases of children that are abused do not abuse themselves and its not one person running around abusing all of them either. Women break down when they find out their loving husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles or even their children are responsible. How does it get to that though? When does a child become an object of desire or abuse? I could write books with the different answers collected that motivate paedophilia.
My challenge to whoever ends up reading this post, is to please remember that children are the messages we send to the future about who we are. They are the voices that will amplify our actions and confront us with the legacy we’ve given them. They may become the generation that will violate you when the tables have turned and you become the vulnerable one. Yes, men get raped too, a lot, by other men.
I hope 2014 will see a lot less of our children traumatised. I hope to live in the day that children and in fact everyone will live free of sexual violence. Until then i’ll work with a patient urgency to help these little ones who are hurting and they don’t know why. Are you response-able? How are you responding to the child sexual abuse issue? Are you responsible? How are you protecting the children in your care? Let’s together tie up the fraying threads of ubuntu. Let’s be age appropriate, I will say this again, your grown up consenting wife, girlfriend and prostitutes serve a purpose, let’s leave the children alone.