January 24th, 2014

“A place where things get sorted out”

As we have just begun a new term, we spent some time with our after school group, reflecting on what things they’d enjoyed and learnt from last year. It was a good time remembering fun activities and trips and new things that had been tried. It was also encouraging to hear what things the girls had learnt. One young lady in particular shared that she had learnt how to be friends and how to make new friends and that girls club was a place where things get sorted out. We were really excited that she felt that way as part of our vision for the young women we work with is to see them grow in empathy for others and learn how to deal with the conflicts they may face.

The following week the girls arrived at club angry after having had another argument and telling each other they hated each other and forgiveness wasn’t an option. It was difficult as we talked to them about what was upsetting them and how they felt they had been wronged. However, after a time of honest discussion and encouragement, the girls managed to reach a point of compromise. This situation is a reminder to me, of the small steps involved as we journey with these girls. We don’t have all the answers or solutions but we’re working with these girls as they figure things out.

I think initially I was a little discouraged by this argument. It is easy to feel like you’re taking backwards steps. However on reflection, it’s a positive thing that the girls are learning to recognise that arguments can be resolved, and what that looks like. I’m sure there will be other arguments we will have to work through, but it’s always an opportunity for us to learn more with them, and hopefully they’re learning more about friendship, forgiveness and reconciliation.