Creating Safe Spaces

Jun 22, 2017

Steph Duff

Nurture Groups are one way Back2Back staff members in Haiti, Nigeria, Mexico, and India connect with the children. Meeting weekly, they work toward creating safe spaces for each boy and girl to express their needs and wants.

Jimmy, Back2Back Haiti staff member, leads nurture group for the nineteen children at Harvest Care Children’s Home. Each week they cover different lessons from how to use their words, to asking permission. They learn various calming techniques and also check in on how they’re feeling. The nurture groups offer a unique opportunity for the children to better connect with the adults serving and caring for them, and also with each other.

Kenia, one of the older girls, hasn’t always found it easy to build relationships with the other children in the home. After a few weeks of participating in nurture groups, there is a noticeable difference in her interactions.

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“Kenia recently approached Jimmy after a nurture group and shared she is feeling a stronger connection to the younger children,” shared Brent Fudge, Back2Back Haiti staff.

Staff and caregivers notice a softening in Kenia when it comes to the younger children. She opens up to them easier, engages in conversation, and is extending compassion where before she wasn’t.

Kenia is growing in her relationships with staff and with the other children and is displaying empathy in a new way towards others. As she watches fellow children learn the power of their voice, and use it, she is recognizing it within herself.

Seventeen-year old Ansouby is also being deeply effected by nurture groups. He has lived at Harvest Care for seven years and early on, didn’t speak. As he grew comfortable he slowly began opening up and speaking. Weekly nurture groups have helped progress these skills.

Recently, Ansouby shared with Jimmy he felt less frustrated communicating. “Learning how to say, ‘I’m sad, I’m frustrated, I’m angry’ within the safety of nurture groups has allowed him to use his voice more, and with more authority,” shared Brent.

Nurture Groups include time for children to check in using their “engine” – a handmade meter using colors communicating how the children feel at given times during the meeting. The children use their engines as a way to read how each person feels and allows everyone to communicate more effectively.

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Kenia and Ansouby continue to learn better ways to say what they want and need. They are each stepping up in positive ways as leaders within the home. Your faithful partnership helps nurture groups be facilitated as Back2Back staff diligently provide care for today and hope for tomorrow. Thank you for helping to be the difference for one.

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dachshund, Addy. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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