On any given day in Haiti, one needs a water bottle handy. The sun is hot, the humidity is generally high, and if walking or working outdoors, cold water helps. It helps quench thirst on humid days, but it also does a lot for emotional and physical stability. Good hydration can contribute to better memory, heightened cognitive skills, and even help reduce aggression.
Proper hydration is a trauma principle taught in many of Back2Back’s Trauma Competent Care trainings. These trainings teach adults who serve children and teens from hard places how to best meet children right where they’re at – and sometimes where they’re at is thirsty. Back2Back staff are trauma-informed and understand the many variables that can occur in a child’s behavior when they’re lacking critical care or nourishment. With this in mind, Wadson Delvar, Back2Back staff, and Edelaine Tehosmy, Back2Back social worker, spent an afternoon at a partnering children’s home reinforcing the importance of drinking water and its tie into our physical and emotional health.
“We shared how drinking water affects our brains and cognitive function,” explained Wadson. “And we wanted to make it clear not enough water can impact more than we realize – our energy levels, our attitudes, and our health.”
Together, with the staff and children, they discussed their current water consumption habits and whether or not it was enough for what their bodies and minds needed. The children and caregivers were given a one liter water bottle to increase water intake and track how much they’re drinking each day.
The day culminated in each teen and caregiver signing a large poster board which now hangs in their dining area. They individually pledged to drink more water and signed their names in commitment. The teens pledged, “I will drink more water, so my organs function well,” and “Because I love my life, I will drink more water.” These promises come from a healthy place spoken by teens who have come to know they are known and loved.