Thank You for Building Our Play Therapy Center

02/07/18

You recently helped us build a Play Therapy Center in Sierra Leone. Before now there was no quiet, private place for young children who had experienced trauma (anything from abuse to the death of their parents) to work through what had happened to them.

 

Play Therapy Center being built

One of the girls in Sierra Leone posing in front of the then-in-progress Play Therapy Center. The excitement on her face says it all!

 

The Play Therapy Center is now complete and in use!

 

Completed Play Therapy Center

 

Emotional support is a major part of the holistic care you help us provide to children in need. Many COTN children have come out of horrifying situations and need help processing their past in a healthy way.

 

The Play Therapy Center is just one of several ways emotional care is being provided to children in Sierra Leone. Play therapy is exactly what it sounds like—using play to help children express and process their thoughts and feelings. Play therapy is particularly useful for younger children, who often struggle to talk rationally about their thoughts and feelings. As Sarah Kiess, COTN’s education specialist for Sierra Leone, says, “Play is the language of children. Play therapy connects with young children in a language they understand.”

 

Play therapy

 

The space is also used for meetings that require a quiet setting and other activities that support emotional and spiritual care. One of those activities is a “therapeutic Bible study” for older girls. During the Bible study sessions, the girls made scrapbooks that they could decorate however they wanted. These scrapbooks let the girls see how much they’ve grown and embrace the ways God has changed their lives for the better.

 

Girls making personal scrapbooks

 

Girl with her scrapbook

 

But of course, the Center’s main purpose is therapy. Sarah recently led play therapy for 11 young girls. She says, “Now there’s more space for the children to spread out and actually play during therapy. It’s also a much quieter environment.” There’s also room for sand and water play during therapy.

 

Sarah says that she now sees a marked difference in the ways the girls are able to process their trauma. Thank you for providing a safe, calm space for children to express themselves and experience healing through play therapy.

 

Girls Bible study group

                Some of the girls who hold Bible studies in the Play Therapy Center.

 

Would you like to help more girls receive the counseling and emotional care they need? Join our Girls Rising Up campaign (now through March 8) to provide the counseling that will help girls overcome trauma and rise up to transform their nations!