For several summers I have traveled to Uganda to work with the war orphans and refuges there. The trauma was so severe from 20 years of war, rape, displacement and poverty and yet the Ugandians that I had the priviledge to meet were amazing people. All had been through trauma so intense I had a hard time listening to their stories. But the spirit and resiliency of their little bodies and souls amazed me and proved that given the right conditions a body can heal from emotional trauma just as it can from physical trauma and injury.
These children were being supported by the staff at the orphanage at Children of the Nations in Lira. The African culture also is very healing with its emphasis on community support, God and spirituality and on singing and DANCING. They are already involved in a culture that promotes healing. The Somatic Experiencing work was very instrumental in restoring their self-protective responses, lost during the rapes, abductions and their time with the rebels or as unwanted orphans. Providing the right support gave them assistance to take another step on the journey of healing and growth. Most children had somatic pains and struggles with rage and bed-wetting. The support of the amazing Ugandian men and women, the staff at COTN provided a foundation that they needed in order to not only survive the horror but to thrive again. For more information about this amazing organization. www.cotni.org