The children at Harvest Care Children’s Home recently participated in a day they affectionately call “Funny Day.” In reality, it is a day planned by the psychologist for fun and intentional conversation. The captain of the home, Weekenson Moise, and staff psychologist, Stephanie Pierre, wanted a day for the children to have safe space to debrief last year.
Haiti has experienced ongoing turmoil over the last year between natural disasters, lockdowns, and the loss of their President. These sort of occurrences naturally affect school schedules and cultural temperatures, and children are directly, and indirectly, impacted. Staff wanted children to understand they are never alone to process anything difficult, but surrounded by a team invested in their emotional health.
Together, they went to the Back2Back campus for a pool party and outside play. They enjoyed laughter and the freedom to just be children in the midst of heavy situations. Following time in the pool, they joined together for a group discussion on the year, their feelings, and how they were handling it all.
Stephanie asked many questions; one of them was, “How did you develop mental strength/capacity during hard times this year?” Most of the children shared answers like, “keeping God in my heart,” “prayer,” “remembering Nurture Group lessons on gentleness,” and “trying to stay calm.”
Overall, the discussion was fruitful, further instilling in each child they are cared for, thought of, and have spaces to share their grievances and joys.
One of the oldest boys in the home shared how happy he was to have time in the pool just to relax and have fun. “He has since asked many times when we will return to swim again,” shared Weekenson. The young man was very thankful for the visit and a full day of respite from the daily anxieties so many children in Haiti face. “It was good just to be,” he shared with Weekenson.
The day provided fun, and also gave the children an opportunity to vulnerably lay down their burdens. It was a chance to trust the adults in their life to carry what was heavy. The staff felt the investment of time yielded more self awareness and empathy in both themselves and the children.