Our partner BSF is a Trauma-informed organization.
The best thing about a new year is that it allows us to refresh and recalibrate both our thinking and spirit, and consequently, our actions. The January monthly staff meeting at BSF always takes on a special importance and this time we had an informal but intense and engaging workshop that spanned one whole day.
Last year in January’s staff meeting, we as a team and as individuals tried grasping the concept of “Growth-mindset” and committed ourselves to that thinking as we had started to sense the imminent growth and expansion in the scope of our work as well as increasing challenges, opportunities, and even complexities coming our way. As a result, we individually and collectively learned numerous new ideas and practices, and tried out a couple of them, shared them in peer groups and across the organization and all that turned out to be very helpful and markedly improved our personal productivity and overall organizational overall effectiveness.
This year we are adding another very important layer, a very important dimension to our being. We want to expressly call ourselves a ‘trauma-informed school’ and to that effect we want to redouble our efforts as one of our overarching goals this year. The children and community that we serve live through stressful circumstances almost regularly. Our children often suffer traumatic stress by way of neglect, abuse, violence, and abandonment in their homes, families, and communities. We have always acknowledged the reality of traumatic stress in the lives of our children and responded to their stress and provided the healing and care as timely and as empathically as possible. We even have a highly dedicated trained psycho-social counselor on our team since the beginning of 2017. And our partner Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children www.mitrata.org have been our biggest support and jointly we have been building our knowledge cache and working capability around understanding and responding to stress over the years and shored up our joint efforts even more so in recent months.
We will continue our efforts to institutionalize the organization-wide supportive trauma-informed culture at BSF in the days to come by providing clear expectations and communicating strategy to our children and their families; training everyone at BSF to recognize and support children with stress; and becoming more mindful towards their holistic health and overall well-being besides academic growth.
To a lesser degree but equally real is the trauma and stress that are vicariously experienced by our staff who regularly seek to understand and empathize with and support our children who are enduring stressful situations. Experiencing secondary stress is part of our care providers’ everyday storyline and unbeknownst they are themselves pummeled with bunch of stressors each day. A trauma-informed school can be called truly effective and successful only if there is supportive culture that recognizes caretakers’ own stress as real and provides a supportive and caring environment where ‘self-care’ is given equally great priority so that their health, happiness, and professional practice are always prevented from getting abraded too much by secondary stress.
At BSF, we are very eager and enthusiastic about beginning the new year by productively and peacefully undertaking everything that’s part of our work with studied mindful awareness and guided by our enduring “child first” value filter all the time.
Yogesh Satyal, Chairperson, Board of Directors
Bhuvaneshwori Satyal Foundation (BSF)