For years our staff in Zambia have always loved any books or manuals I can get them that helps them do their jobs better. I love taking over Bible Studies, books and sermons on all sorts of topics such as depression, anger, loss, grieving, healing from physical or sexual abuse, how to work with children who have been abused etc... Unfortunately in Zambia those resources are not available, it is something that we take for granted in America.
This year in an effort to help us grow and have deeper of an impression Arise Africa has decided to go more in depth in educating our staff on how to do their jobs to have the biggest imapct. Even though food, shelter, and education is at the top of our list to help these kids, the bottom line is we want to impact their hearts and teach them about the Lord's love for them. If we aren't training our staff how to work with children in really difficult situations, than we aren't working to our maximum ability.
Furthermore, we have started the Arise Home and thrown children in a living situation they have never experienced before. They came from living on the streets, living with distant relatives who didn't care for them, and their lives have had major trauma and abandonment. The transition to living in our home isn't easy, and they had to learn the basics of living. They didn't know how to use running water in a home and the toilets were new. Figuring out what goes in a refrigerator was a new concept. Everything was new to them. Imagine how hard the change was for the kids in the home, and now imagine how hard the jobs are of our house moms! They are helping 10 kids figure all of this out! They are helping with school work, and cooking, and dealing with every single part of that child's life - times ten! It isn't fair for Arise Africa to not fully equip and train our house moms to know how to deal emotionally with children they work with.
Arise Africa has partnered up with a Dallas Counseling practice, Nikao,
to work on manuals and plan a training workshop for our staff. Nikao has been very very gracious with us in this process and their counselors are working hard to make manuals that our Zambia staff can use for many years down the road. We are meeting regularly as these manuals are made and it is awesome to see how in tune Nikao is to learning about the culture in Zambia and the children we work with. They want to know about our staff and working situations and every aspect of how we operate and reach out to children in Zambia. This is a daunting project that they have fully embraced.
We are also planning to go to Zambia in 2015 for a week of training with three Nikao counselors to fully educate our staff. Words cannot express the excitement that both our Zambian staff and myself has over this! This will not only help us minister and help reach kids on a deeper level, but also help Arise Africa as a ministry work together and grow in a positive and healthy manner. I just hope Nikao knows that they are getting themselves into when you put all Arise Africa staff in one room together!