“We’re now bringing our expertise to the South-Hebron region, and we’re supported in this by the Ministry of Education of the Palestinian Authority. Also, the German Foreign Ministry has provided a grant to our trauma handling programme, in recognition of the vital importance of what we’re doing”.
A group of about 20 men and women, all of them teachers at various schools, have come together the week before Christmas in one of the meeting rooms of the Hope Flowers Community Center for the last part of a training programme that has been running since the start of the school year. The session is led by Mahmoud who is in charge of the Hope Flowers trauma handling programme. Over the past 20 years, Hope Flowers School have developed a unique expertise in helping teachers to handle the problematic behaviours and learning difficulties of children who are impacted by violence, either as witnesses or as direct victims.
The late Hussein Issa, founder of Hope Flowers, had the motto: “all violence comes from an unhealed wound”. Hope Flowers is built on this simple recognition, and it is the basic principle for the educational curriculum. The trauma handling programme is therefore at the core of it’s philosophy, and it is a very important recognition of Hope Flowers’ achievements that their expertise is now being extended to other areas of the West Bank.
The teachers from the South-Hebron area who participated in the programme are all without exception enthusiastic about what they learn. “This is an approach that taught me that I first have to face my own traumas before I can help my pupils”. “This programme has given me very practical advice on how to handle difficult and aggressive behaviour of children”. “Now I no longer think that a child is lazy if they cannot come along quickly enough, but I am able to recognize the fear and hurt that causes such problems”. “In this programme I have learned how I can help children to express themselves when I see that they are too quiet and don’t interact with their peers”.