A Project Adventure Trauma Relief Program for Japanese Teachers & Students
One year ago, on March 11, 2011, Japan was devastated by a major tsunami and the country is still reeling from the effects and aftermath. Not only is there still massive physical damage, but the emotional impacts on adults and children in the affected regions are considerable. We know that children are an especially vulnerable population after natural disasters. They need timely assistance in recovery so that they and their communities can work towards building a positive future.
Last November, Project Adventure Senior Trainer and Gloucester High School Teacher Jim Schoel travelled to the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan which was significantly impacted by the tsunami; he spent two days leading a workshop on Bamboo Resiliency for 22 Japanese teachers from the region including 3 PA Japan trainers. The goals for workshop participants were to develop
- An understanding of resiliency as it relates to traumatic events (Bamboo Resiliency)
- A deeper understanding of the Full Value Contract and how it can be used with trauma sufferers
- An understanding of how to facilitate students’ healing without them reliving their trauma
- A caring network by giving teachers a space in which to share their experiences teaching young people affected by trauma and giving opportunities to identify what future work is needed
Jim knows that Adventure programming is an excellent approach to addressing the needs of traumatized children and adults. For Tsunami victims, PA focuses on the concept of resiliency, or the ability to learn from and to incorporate the skills and strengths gained by surviving and recovering from trauma. Resiliency is a learned skill and greatly aids and improves recovery from traumatic events. This Bamboo Resiliency Trauma Relief Program is based on PA’s active learning methods and features an engaging group development process centered on the Full Value Contract.
Bamboo Resilience Full Value Contract
Creating commitment and connection so that healing relationships can form
Creating a safe environment to provide hope
Recognizing resiliency survival skills and accomplishment of tasks
Remember and mourn
Let Go & Move On
Honor the memories of friends and loved ones through resiliency which involves accepting powerlessness, cultivating group hardiness and practicing interdependence
Care for Self & Others
Group members build community through self-care, recognition of interdependence, empathic engagement and caring for others
This two-day Bamboo Resiliency pilot workshop was extremely successful and therapeutic for the participating teachers who are now using what they learned in their work with affected students. The teachers were also very excited that this program model builds community and a safe supportive environment for students to develop their resiliency skills. Given the promise of this program and the enormous need for resiliency around the globe, PA wants to expand this program to work with hundreds of thousands of students and teachers. Over the next several months, PA plans to develop a train-the-trainer as well as a direct service model for Japanese teachers in Bamboo Resiliency, along with associated educational materials in both Japanese and English. This will be a collaborative effort with Project Adventure Japan, who has already trained more than 5,000 teachers in PA methods over the last 20 years.
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*Bamboo trees are known for their flexibility, bowing to even the strongest winds, but still standing