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is nothing to shout about
Modern slavery ‘toolkit’ educates children THE Salvation Army has created a kit to help children learn about the reality of modern slavery. The resource has been designed to be used in school RE lessons or youth clubs. Based on the real-life experiences of three modern slavery survivors with the pseudonyms Lydia, Fredek and Tee, the True Story resource is intended to open up discussions about the issue in an ageappropriate way. There are two editions: one for young people aged 13 and over, and another for those aged 7 to 12. As part of the ‘toolkit’, children are encouraged to hold companies accountable and to use social media to raise awareness of modern slavery. Major Kathy Betteridge, The Salvation Army’s director of anti-trafficking and modern slavery, said: ‘Children appreciate honesty and are also incredibly passionate campaigners. ‘Slavery thrives in secrecy, and the more we can do to raise awareness, the more chance there is that people will report their concerns.’ The Salvation Army has held the government’s modern slavery victim care contract for England and Wales since 2011, helping more than 15,000 adult survivors in that time. A new report from the church and charity has revealed that it received referrals of 2,262 survivors of modern slavery in England and Wales from July 2020 to June 2021. l The resource for children can be downloaded from salvationarmy.org.uk/truestory
Campaign encourages healthier ways of communicating Report by Sarah Olowofoyeku
EEP it down – today (Saturday 6 November) is Let’s Stop Shouting Awareness Day. Yasmin Shaheen-Zaffar came up with the concept earlier this year, inspired by her own experiences as a counsellor who specialises in anger problems. The campaign has three aims: to raise awareness of the impact that shouting has on people’s mental health, physical health and relationships; to advocate the idea of having difficult conversations without shouting; and to promote non-violent communication. ‘Let’s face it, no one likes being shouted at,’ says Yasmin. ‘And, really, most of us don’t like shouting or losing control either. So we want to open up the conversation about the unhelpful type of shouting. It causes us stress, can make us feel frightened, resentful or anxious, and the cause often gets buried in the shouting.’ She also recognises that verbal abuse can even trigger violent crimes. The campaign offers lesson plans, suggestions for creative interventions in aggressive communication and downloadable breathing exercises to help alleviate stress in tense situations. Yasmin hopes that her initiative helps to open up the topic, because she believes ‘effective communication is the key to getting our needs met and meeting the needs of others without aggression, abuse or violence’. It is clear that violent communication doesn’t generally have a positive impact on a situation. It never has. In the Bible, a wise teacher advises: ‘Losing your temper causes a lot of trouble, but staying calm settles arguments’ (Proverbs 15:18 Contemporary English Version). Christians try to live by those words, as well as other lines in the Bible that encourage kind, gentle and loving communication. They also have the example of Jesus. He often responded calmly to hostility and tried to defuse resentment between the people he met. In doing so, he communicated how God is kind towards us. If we follow Jesus, we can discover a good way to live and have our needs for a lasting sense of peace and wellbeing met. And that is something worth making a noise about.
Violent communication doesn’t have a positive impact
6 November 2021 • WAR CRY • 5