A community non-governmental organisation in the Western Cape is working hard to help young children deal with past hurts and trauma. The Community Keepers is providing trauma counselling services to 28 schools in the province. The team of professionals assist pupils who have been victims of violence at home or in their local communities.
Chief Executive Officer of Community Keepers, Gerrit Taning said they treat pupils with different traumatic experiences through group and individual sessions.“We work in disadvantaged communities where violence is prevalent. We help children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, loss, poverty and other challenges that are faced by children,” he said.
Taning added that trauma can cause behavioural problems in children.“When there is a cycle of traumatic experiences that builds up, it often affects children negatively. A quiet child will start lashing out and engaging in risky behaviour. A child that was outgoing suddenly becomes withdrawn. Some pupils go from the brightest students to not being able to keep up with their peers, he continued”.
One of the key topics the NGO seeks to address during sessions with the pupils is the belief that ‘men don’t cry’.The Community Keepers aims to teach young boys to be in tune with their feelings and emotions. This will encourage young boys to talk about their feelings and experiences.