To give an idea to children that each one is unique and that their life can be different and still worth living, is one of the visions and the purposes of Snehagram. We then thought of initiating a process of sharing of their life in the group. It was an opportunity for us to know the Children deeper and thus to create a space for them to share and to know themselves deepily of their origin and background. The initial fear and unwillingness to be open to others and to let others know of themselves distanced them. They lived under the same roof but as separated islands.
Given the idea that the quality of life is better demonstrated by being open to others, by listening, knowing and understanding others and by letting others know of themselves, they started thinking and reflecting about the need of it. They were slowly motivated by the idea that they have to create among them a network of care and support for now and for the future. As they started to share their life, life´s traumatic experiences, the loss of loved ones and how much their family can offer them now, they could accommodate the need of a supportive system. They saw that most of them had a lot to share in common which gave them a sense of who they and their companions are. The interesting aspect fort hem was that they could find a common platform to be together, to share their past, to help identify themselves and to communicate them effectively. Their identification of similar stories and experiences pushed them foreward to think of and feel for themselves, helped them to name their own issues and that created a spirit of understanding and sense of belonging . The purpose was to make them own who they are and to form them as peer facilitators to identify and to solve their own issues.
It was really amazing for me to see that they can be different and they really try to be good to one another. They feel among themselves that the display of emotions like anger, frustration and the bullying as well has come down. To a great extent, their verbal and emotional expressions are fairly better. They still improve in terms of their approach, of dealing with one another and of the way they share, care and listen to each other.
As I personally see, they started to prove that they can be together, work together and be available to each other. Asked of one child, what difference did sharing make in their life, he said freely, “ We are different, but now we know each other better. The shouting and teasing are slowly becoming less and less. We have improved a lot and we are still improving“. All of us and I personally confirm it.
Fr. Prakash Kuttiyath, MI