Saturday, February 11, 2012

Learning Together at Nanning SWI..from Tots to Teenagers

It was a wet start to our training.....and almost impossible to get a taxi in Nanning!

                                                        ..but we got there in the end......
and met with a crowded room at Nanning SWI with foster mothers, babies 
and our special guests the teenage girls. 

Given the topic of our training it was felt wisest to split from the teenage boys.
 I had prepared a training specifically for teenage boys but it was presented by Peter in a different room

Our topic, requested by foster families and SWI staff was awareness of sexual issues and prevention of abuse. Sadly this is a common problem throughout the world, and particularly amongst the vulnerable living in institutions. Foster mothers asked for help in making the teenagers aware of the issues in a positive way.

No small task there?

Therefore with some trepidation we began.......
I am well used to chatting to teenagers about difficult issues...but it seemed a bit daunting to have to go straight into such personal issues with teenagers we did not know and who may well have looked at us as "aliens from afar!
So we started with some ball throwing, tell us something about yourself ..which caused lots of giggles and broke the ice!

 The girls were then asked to write down any questions they might have regarding sex
 and pop them in the Magic Hat!
Tho our friend here was much happier just wearing the Hat :-)

             When everyone was relaxed we began the presentation, ably translated by Xiao Xiao.
I think we managed to present delicate isssues to the teenagers and they certainly seemed happy to listen, discuss and even argue at points!
At the end, it was rewarding to pull their questions from the Magic Hat and discuss together with Xiao how they might deal with issues to keep themselves safe.

Afterwards they were happy to chat & laugh at our photos from home- 
especially the one of a strange Chinese man wearing a skirt :-)
                                                                   ( Matthew in a kilt)

After a short break we moved on to Practical Parenting for the foster mothers-
 a Presentation prepared in direct response to the questions they had asked .
These mothers are an inspiration working hard to do the best for the children in their care
and eager to learn how to do things even better.
It was important to share with them that parenting is a tough job for us all
there are no experts
and we all have to learn together!

 We had some fun with the mothers desperate to share positive things about their children in order to pick a prize from the Bag :-) Then it was down to business!

 The questions were common ones........................
How to promote self esteem in our children,
 how to communicate, 
teach about sex and much more......
                                                     This was one of my favourite slides :-)

                                          A picture paints a thousand words right enough.........

              Anecdotal stories from us all lightened the mood and helped us all to learn together.
 Foster mums were most impressed with the reward charts we had brought 
and were keen to discuss how best to use them. 
I have made sure to get plenty more to bring for this trip!

 While all this serious stuff was going on the littlies were quite happily occupying themselves around the room
                                                   This little one just loved her new found  Jie Jie

......with even a few outsiders looking in from kindergarten!

We ended with one of my favourite stories- The Starfish
 We can't do it all!
But we can make a difference!
We can't ask more?

After all the serious work, outside to play and share gifts with our Hope4China Nanning children .
It is always quite awesome to think of the amazing difference so many faithful people around the world can make in the lives of these little ones.
A Precious Picture!

                    Thank you Hope4China Sponsors and Grace-Hope Staff for making this possible!
                                                                       then time for home.......

We left, as always , amazed and humbled by these women who take such good care of their foster children.
It was a Blessing to be there!

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