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51 Sherbrooke W., Montreal, QC. Canada, H5Z 4T9.
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“Healing our Children and Restoring their Families”
“Happy, safe and healthy children, supported by their families in the community.”
Providing professional therapeutic intervention to traumatized children and their families. Providing families with training and skills development in order to optimize their strengths and restore family unity.
The number of traumatized children and families within the economically disadvantaged Knysna Community has reached alarming proportions. Alcohol and drug abuse, exposure to violence (domestic and community), illness, poverty and lack of male role models often result in families who struggle to take adequate care of their children. In addition, children are increasingly exposed to pornographic and violent material via cell phones, dvd’s and internet leading to desensitization. This results in high levels of trauma in children due to abuse (rape, sexual molestation, physical abuse and neglect), bereavement and exposure to violence (within the home and community). Many children who are abused themselves become abusers if not given therapy.
From working in the communities for many years, it became evident that the traumatized children are often not adequately assisted by their families which can lead to secondary trauma. Many parents do not have the skills or emotional knowledge to support and heal their traumatized children and community support is usually lacking. Parents may themselves have experienced trauma that has not yet been resolved. It is therefore essential to work with both traumatized children and their families in order to optimize outcomes.
The problem is exacerbated by a lack of resources which could potentially help traumatized children and their families. Welfare organizations are over-extended and many of these children therefore do not get the assistance that is necessary. The Hero team recognized the need within our Knysna community for a professional service for traumatized children and their families and has registered an organization (Hero) to provide this service.
The Hero team is comprised of a group of experienced multi-talented professionals who have worked for and volunteered their services to many NPO’s in the Knysna/Plettenberg Bay Area over the past 13 years. Through their work, they recognized that many traumatized children in economically disadvantaged areas within Knysna are not receiving assistance and intervention. The Knysna Children’s Trauma Fund was therefore initiated which focused primarily on therapeutic intervention for traumatized children. It became evident however that working with the children alone was not sufficient and that parental intervention was also necessary to effectively heal these children. A decision was made to formalize and expand the programme by registering an NPO that has the primary goal of assisting both traumatized children and their families.
For more information about HERO visit their website: http://www.herochildren.org.za/