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“Healing our Children and Restoring their Families”

OUR VISION:

To have happy, safe and healthy children who are supported by their families in the community.

OUR MISSION:

To provide professional therapeutic intervention for traumatised children and their families; to provide families with training and to develop skills which will optimise their strengths and restore family unity.

MOTIVATION:

The number of traumatised children and families in the sub-economic communities surrounding Knysna has reached alarming proportions. Alcohol and drug abuse, exposure to violence (domestic and community), illness, poverty and lack of male role models often results in families which struggle to take proper care of their children.

Children are also increasingly exposed to pornographic and violent material via cell phones, dvd’s and internet. This leads to desensitisation and results in high levels of trauma in children as a result of physical and emotional abuse, bereavement and exposure to violence within the home and community. Many children who are abused themselves become abusers if not given therapy.

After working in sub economic communities for many years, it is evident that traumatised children are often not adequately assisted by their families, which can lead to secondary trauma. Many parents do not have the skills or knowledge about emotions to support and heal their traumatised children and community support is often lacking. Parents themselves may have experienced trauma that has not yet been resolved and it is therefore essential to work with both traumatised children and their families to optimise healthy emotional outcomes.

The problem is exacerbated by a lack of resources with which to help traumatised children and their families. Welfare organizations are over-extended and so many children do not receive the necessary help. The HERO team recognises the need for professional services to traumatised children and their families and has registered this Non Profit Organisation (NPO Reg. no. 98511) to fill this critical gap in young lives.

HERO BACKGROUND:

The core team comprises 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, the need to help traumatised children in economically disadvantaged areas emerged and the Knysna Children’s Trauma Fund was established, which focused primarily on therapeutic intervention for traumatised children.

Over time it became apparent that working only with the children was not enough and that parental intervention was also necessary for effective healing. A decision was therefore made to formalise and expand the programme by registering an NPO with the primary goal of assisting both traumatised children and their families. HERO seeks to Heal, Equip, Restore and Optimise strengths, because every hurt child needs a HERO.

For more information about HERO visit their website: http://www.herochildren.org.za/