How do you heal a child who was forced to tear their friend apart with their own bare hands? How do you heal a child who has been made to throw numerous grenades before they were taught how to count them? How do you heal a child who does not sleep because the horror in the eyes of those they killed haunts them in the night, or the child who has become mute because there are no words to express the screaming in their mind?
Such are the challenges we face. The need is overwhelming, the way ahead opaque and surely the answers will not come through text books but through tears of compassion.
In the first instance we have endeavoured to create a home, constructing a village using natural materials and methods. Next, we believe we need to breathe a warm flame of fire into the hearth of that home by forming a loving community at the heart of the work. A community of people on a journey of self-sacrifice that refuse to turn away from the suffering of these children but who are willing to bear it with them.
There will be music, there will be drama, there will be art, avenues to enable the children to regain their voice and speak out about the injustice they have been through. There will be sports and games as a means of helping them to reconnect with their bodies and minds in a healthy way. We will also go out and explore the beauty of their land to encourage them to value its worth and guard its peace.
Plants, flowers, trees and wildlife will all play a part in their daily life, that they might dwell in their environment in a way that enables them to appreciate the delicate balance of its rhythms and experience the joy of being a part of caring for its development
We will share with them the Politics of Hope, looking together at activists such as Schindler, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Florence Nightingale, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and others who had the courage to stand up against injustices of their time and give others hope.
They will gain practical vocational skills, in order to be able to access work and earn a livelihood. Weaved through their learning will be team work opportunities, developing social skills that will enable them to form positive relationships as they step into their future.
They will experience a range of healing therapies throughout their time in the community and we trust that, through all this, their war-torn souls will slowly begin to heal. We intend to stand by them in their pain and provide a bridge back into the local community where they can walk again in the path of peace.