Island residents complete Return to Happiness Program training

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

On Friday, October 27th a small certification ceremony was held for ten island residents trained in the Return to Happiness Program at The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The training was done in collaboration with the SPTC, alongside UNICEF, with the assistance of the Sustainable Child Friendly Initiative Program within the Ministry of Local Government. The training was held from Monday, October 23rd to Friday, October 27th and saw the participation of persons who either work with children or volunteer in programs that involve them.
The psychosocial program is design to assist children in externalizing their feelings after any traumatic event. Training organizers have the goal of creating an opportunity for children between the ages of 5-12 years, who may have experienced a natural or man-made disaster, to process their experiences through a series of guided play activities. This, in return, is expected to reduce their post disaster anxieties, as they begin to re-establish their sense of joy, happiness, security and confidence in adult protection.
In order to achieve results, the training uses various child friendly methodologies, such as drawings, songs of hope, games and puppets to facilitate children in expressing themselves. Participants also learned that such program creates opportunities for children who are traumatized during disasters, to receive further psychological examination and counselling.
At the certification ceremony on Friday, the successful participants pledged to be a part of the Program and were presented with a certificate and kits to be used when this is activated.
The start date of the program has yet to be announced.

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