17 junho 2019

Testimony: Training course about Emergency Pedagogy by Stamatina

When I first saw the announcement for a training course on Emergency Pedagogy in Lisbon, I was more than excited as it combined everything that I had in mind by that time. Therefore, I was really thankful that I got accepted. The experience that I gained from the training, made me fall in love with my profession and with the great city of Lisbon even more!

I remember the first time that I set my foot in Spin Hostel and the warm atmosphere that the volunteers and youth workers had achieved to create. I quickly felt at ease with the fellow workers and the care that Spin Association put into organizing the cause of Emergency Pedagogy made this week possible for  26 participants.
This training course was organized mainly into two parts: the seminars held by Bernd Ruf and the workshops. Bernd Ruf’s work was admirable as he transferred to us years of experience and knowledge on the field of children’s psychology and taught us the foundations of Emergency and Trauma Pedagogy. We learned about the different types of traumas, the symptoms of stress reaction and the therapeutic interventions. What made an impact on me was how the trauma can make a child feel detached from its own body and the fact that in many occasions the child after a natural disaster, a state of war or an abuse may not feel some parts of its body. This shocking experience can interrupt the unity of the body and the soul and cause a feeling of imbalance. For that reason, from the two workshops, we learned the importance of promoting rhythmic movement and artistic expression that helped the children stay focused on the moment and activate their body movements. Through my experience from working with clay and drawing, I understood that many times unconsciously the body “remembers” without even the necessity of words. All of the exercises functioned therapeutically and brought us closer as a team. The visit in Crescer Association and the stories of young refugees were aspiring and showed us how solidarity can change a person’s life and how strong the human spirit can be.

Last but not least, the conversations that I had with the youth workers affected me and made me reconsider my professional career while raising ever more my love for children and my will to help as a psychotherapist. All of the volunteers and employees showed true affection for their job and made me believe that a better future is possible. I will close this article with a saying by Bernd Ruf: “You cannot do nothing without LOVE”. It is known for years but we tend to forget.

Muito obrigada! Vejo -vos em breve, meus amigos!

Matina Kalafateli

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