The moon stays bright when it doesn’t avoid the night.
Have you been tracking recent developments in the region of eastern Africa? Nick Kristof of the New York Times recently offered a remarkable series on his most recent visit to Sudan, one aptly titled, ‘The Worst Atrocity You’ve Never Heard Of’. Prior to that, he was in South Sudan, and wrote, Tales of Horror Should Galvanize Obama.
Given these extremely horrific situations, we are glad to be able to offer trauma recovery for those who live locally.
As Phase 3 nears its end, it is time to start Phase 4: Continuing in the Community (Trauma Recovery for East African Refugees in San Diego).
Before telling you about Phase 4, here is an update on Phase 3: Trauma Recovery for East African Refugees in San Diego. It launched last fall and we will be finishing up the TRE research groups by the end of this summer. I would rapidly run out of expressive, feeling words and effective adjectives trying to adequately describe what it has been like. Of course there have been a few challenges, yet, the sense of privilege is much greater than any difficulty we have encountered.
Participants have told us about significantly decreased pain in muscles and joints, along with a much increased ability to breathe freely. ‘Better sleep’ always makes the list as anxieties calm down. For some, the terror of being attacked again has subsided.
One woman simply said the biggest change for her was,
‘Now I am happy.’
There was one day where a phone call interrupted one of the women’s groups and brought the dreaded news of yet one more family member killed in South Sudan. The entire group understandably erupted into chaos with intense contagion of grief, sorrow, horror and rage. It was an experience that was way too familiar for all of them. Within a few minutes we were able to attend to the directly affected family members who left to make preparations, while the rest of the women stayed.
This day was ripe for utter re-traumatization to set in and take hold deeply. Yet, all of the women who stayed did the exercises with us. The room was unusually silent at the start, but by the end you could hear little bits of giggling breaking out around the room.
They had been able to effectively release this huge tragedy immediately after hearing of it, and 45 minutes later the relief was palpable. It was truly remarkable and one more validation of just how important this work is and how rapidly effective the Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) can be.
Living Ubuntu has given a scholarship to several members of the East African community for training in TRE. It will take them about a year to complete the process and be eligible for full Certification as TRE Providers. At that point, TRE can be taught in several languages and reach for more of the local community.
In the meantime, we need to bridge the gap so that the men and women in the research groups can continue healing.
We will be offering monthly TRE groups. In these community groups research participants will be able to invite family and friends to come with them so we can begin expanding this project in the community. They will be encouraged to continue the exercises at home alone as well as with family members or in small groups. We look forward to the day that this community can conduct trauma recovery on its own.
In the meantime, we need your support for Phase 4: Continuing in the Community (Trauma Recovery for East African Refugees in San Diego).
We have just launched a new Razoo campaign to raise the necessary funds to support Phase 4 into it’s launch, and through the remainder of 2015. Contributions of any size would really help a lot and be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your generosity,
Barbara English, LMFT
Founder and Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
Every human being truly becomes a human by means of relationships with other human beings