How holistic intervention at Kids Alive in Guatemala helped Liza and her family live in safety

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Liza*, who is 16 years old, is the oldest of her three siblings. Her 43-year-old mother is raising them as a single parent. Liza has a 15-year-old brother and a 2-year-old half-brother from a different father.

Liza and her family have displayed remarkable strength and resilience without a supportive father figure. Despite this, Liza experienced sexual violence within her community, causing significant distress for her family. The community's lack of trust and surveillance, along with threats from the alleged aggressor, further exacerbated their situation.

Liza started her therapeutic journey at Kids Alive Guatemala earlier in 2024. The team at Kids Alive provided her with a sense of security, coping mechanisms, and therapy to address the aftermath of the abuse. Liza struggled emotionally, experiencing considerable sadness, worry, and anguish, particularly due to continued threats made by the alleged aggressor towards her mother.

As the danger within their community escalated, the Kids Alive team sought help from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to ensure the family's safety. Consequently, Liza's family received IOM support and was relocated out of Guatemala for their protection.

In addition to helping Liza, the Kids Alive team offered psychological support, family therapy, and assistance in managing emotional aggression, aiming to improve the family's dynamics and strengthen their relationships. They also assisted Liza's brother in fostering positive sibling relationships.

This particular case underscores the comprehensive intervention and unwavering support provided by Kids Alive Guatemala to address the distinct needs of each individual impacted by violence.

*Name changed for privacy

How you are supporting our global approach to CAREGIVING

We are committed to using evidence-based approaches to care because such tools honour God’s creative order. TBRI® is a tool that helps our staff understand the impact of trauma, discovering why children react the way they do, and teaching staff methods that de-escalate the situation. We want to ask the question, “What happened to you?” instead of “What’s wrong with you?”. This enables staff to connect before they correct. 

Our therapy goals are to build relationships and connections of trust so that children can learn who God is. We teach them God is Love, Good, and Present and that Jesus is Lord and Saviour. We want to help them trade the destructive identities given to them by trauma with the healthy identities that Christ offers them: they are His Children (John 1:12), Clean (1 John 1:9), Powerful (Philippians 4:13), Chosen (John 15:16), and Works of Art (Ephesians 2:10).

We guide them to replace the trauma responses of fight, flight, or freeze with the biblically healthy ones of faith, integrity, understanding, self-control, perseverance, devotion to God, mutual kindness, and love (2 Peter 1:3-11). We’ve found what the world of psychology calls Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was outlined by the Holy Spirit to Peter 2,000 years earlier. 

We believe this is the most effective means to realising one of our goals: That children in our programmes enjoy a vibrant, life-changing relationship with God. 

Our global "model of care" - how your support is transforming traumatised children 

Our supporters enable us to have a massive impact on thousands of traumatised children around the world. Thanks to them we are able to have a "model of care" that begins by asking “what has happened to you?” – for both children and parents – and then being prepared to respond to the answer. That is why you enable us to invest so much in training staff to be trauma-informed and responsive; why we invest so much in professional Christian staff, why we invest in systems change, and why we invest so much in building healthy families for children. 

And it is all focused on our global goals: 

  • Enjoy a vibrant, life-changing relationship with God 
  • Experience emotional and physical well-being 
  • Equipped for a life of independence and service 
  • Live life in family and community, free of fear and violence 

We believe achieving these goals promotes thriving children, thriving families, and thriving communities. 

“’For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord.’” Jeremiah 30:17 (NKJV)

Posted by Lynne Edmunds on June 21st 2024

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