Early Summer 2018 Update

Hi everyone, as I missed the opportunity to meet many of you on my
planned trip back to Wales in March, I have decide to keep you updated
through this means…not as personable as me in person, but needs must.
So I thought I would share with you one of our ‘success stories’. I dislike
using that term because nothing is set-in-stone in our line of work. When
you are working with young adults this work can be unpredictable, when
you work with children you learn not have too many high expectations, and
just delight in the good times when they turn up.
So I was delighted when I received the latest Small Group Therapy,(SGT),
report from our Mihaela. SGT is when Mihaela gets a group of our younger
children together for a couple of days to discuss important issues…can
range from difficulties at school to tantrums at home. Mihaela engages the
help of one of the mothers to share the load, and to have a better insight
into the difficulties of being a mother to a girl facing puberty pretty soon.
The 3 girls in this session have greatly differing personalities, Alexandra is
very close to her mam and usually looks to her before she does anything,
Georgiana never has a thought that she’s not willing to share and stands
up for herself and her mam, Steffi lost her mother 5 years ago to HIV-
related illness, and only has loving but aging grandparents to guide her…
she has a bubbly personality when in a relaxed environment.
This session was centred around ‘How to handle approaches from boys
and young men’.The subject had arisen from an overheard informal chat
on a SDT, (Summer Day Trip), where 2 of the same girls had been talking
about boys, and how they treated them. Stefi had said that she was startled
by some boys on a motor-bike who had stopped beside her as she was on
her bike, and made some crude comment. Georgiana talked about how she
had to ‘punch out’ one of the boys in school when he made a comment, not
about her, but her mother, (her mam is HIV+ and in the villages there are
few secrets). Neither of these responses was the correct one, but I admit I
had an admiration for Georgie’s fiesty attitude.

Mihaela’s treatment of the subject was to get them to role-play potential
situations and teach them what to say and do…they loved it. The session
went very well and they picked up very quickly how to react to strangers
approaching them, firm and cool response to questions, then move away to
crowded area, into nearby shop, garage etc. But the most striking aspect
for me was the protective bond that has been forged between the girls,
(they only met last year), encouraging each other. Steffi encouraged Alex
to move away from her mother’s proximity and join in more freely; Georgie
helped both of them to feel more confident in their ability to handle these
situations…to be a force of nature, like her. Georgie seems to be the most
rounded of the girls regarding personality, and hasn’t yet met the situation
that fazes her…long may this last.
Mihaela says they are all showing “…maturity beyond their years…’,maybe
because of the traumas they have already faced at the tender age of 12
years. Out of bad some good will come.

First photo shows the girls with Ionela, (Alex’s mam), the 2 nd shows
Georgie & Stefi, see if you can guess which is feisty Georgie 
We have many other programmes/ projects ongoing throughout the
summer and you’ll be updated as soon as I have something that I think
may interest you.
Many blessings to you and yours, Mihaela, Cosmin, Alina, & Paul

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