In early July the Neema, Kenya, staff team went through a 4 day training on Transformation of the Heart, lead by Jackie Birungi. It included topics such as: forgiveness, shame, childhood wounds, heart of stone, and judgments to name a few. The training was designed to allow space for the staff members to identify areas of pain in their own lives and find healing as they are also equipped with tools to allow them to better serve the young women and children in Neema's care.
At the end of the training the staff were given an opportunity to share how they benefited from the training and how it will assist them in their work at Neema. Here are a few personal responses to the training:
"As I grew up, very many things happened to me through my family that made me to develop a heart of stone. I trained myself to be hard so that I could overcome the situations in life. In recent years I went through a lot that added to hardening myself so I could push on with life. My life has not been easy, but I am thankful for this training because it has opened my eyes on the dangers of hardening myself and how it limits my relationship with others and God."
"As I grew up, I went through a lot that forced me to make inner vows that have affected my life since then. I never wanted to break my promise that I made out of anger. It blocked my relationships, but after this training I can find peace to forgive the people who hurt me so much in my life.
"I have been suffering from shame for a very long time in my life. I got pregnant while I was still in school and it really affected my dignity. I blamed myself because I became a laughing stock. I am happy that through this training I have been able to heal from that shame."
As it relates to her role at Neema, one staff member shared that "the training has really helped me to understand the girls I am working with. I will know how to approach certain issues better, where before this training I could get confused on certain issue and behaviors and I could lose patience but I now understand them better."
While this kind of a training can be challenging personally, the Neema staff team benefited greatly and are now better equipped to work with the population of young women at Neema. We celebrate the work of our staff members as they continue to guide the young women at Neema toward transformation and a brighter future.