Monday, 7 July 2014

Kids in Play by Salvation Army

As I've completed my clinical hours first week of June, and procrastinating to complete my portfolio for submission, I'm happy to share that I'm doing my part to give back.

In Feb, while I was searching for volunteering opportunities, I came across Kids in Play program initiated by Salvation Army Prison Services. However, the program is conducted on Saturdays, and I was committed to play therapy in the children's home, so I left my name saying I would be available from July onwards.

They kept their list really well, I received a text from the PIC mid of June informing me there'll be a session on 5th Jul, and asked if I was still interested and available to volunteer. 

It was really a good session. The kids, their behaviours, the way they dressed, the way the caregivers talked to them was simply out of my expectation. I expected way too negatively, I guess. They were as normal as other kids would be, you wouldn't even feel pity them, although at times you feel like you were choked with emotions. I felt for them. In the room with at least 60 kids, you know there were at least 60 stories behind.

The way they talked, and the way I consciously making the effort to talk, as if we were talking about parent (for some kids parents) were on a business trip, really.

It dawned upon me, where the positive mindset in one of the kids I had play therapy with in the home came from. It was from all the initiative and all the love they could feel and they could give.

It dawned upon me that indeed, no matter what happened, the parent(s) in the prison would always be the parent(s). No matter what happened.

This program is really good in connecting the kids, caregivers and the parent(s) in the prison.

For the kids, they are always reminded that their identity remains the same. Their incarcerated parent(s) will always be their parent(s). They learn how to appreciate and render a helping hand to their caregiver.

For the caregivers, they are given a chance to take a breather. They are supported by the program, to always remind the kids that they have each other and never give up.

For the incarcerated parent(s), they learnt how they can love from afar. They learnt what their children wants from them even though they are not there physically.

For once, I was strong. The kids do not need our pity. They need our support, to stand strong, while they brave through one of the tough phases in life.

The biggest takeaway, while I choked with emotions:

I feel happy if I get A* in my AA. My dadddy will say "I know you can do it"
I feel sad when I lose my thing. My daddy will say "You can find it again"
I feel angry when my sister pulls my hair. My daddy will say "Stop pulling your brother's hair"

I'm looking forward to the next session. I learnt a lot from them.

God, please give me strength.


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