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Issue 1

RESTORE

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

Issue 11- September 2005 Issue

D I G N I T Y 1

For private circulation only


RESTORE

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

RESTORE is an international initiative of Viva Network. Copyright © Viva Network 2005 and the respective Authors. All rights reserved. Viva Network is an NGO in Roster Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Registered Charity No. 1053389.

• Motivating and Equipping through examples of best practices to raise the standard for children

reflection questions at the end for personal or group devotions.

• Bridging the gap between Biblical reflection and best practice

The next articles explore practical responses; ways of restoring dignity to children and allowing children to live in and express their dignity. Louie Cadaing gives some key principles and ideas for child participation. Wanda Parker follows this with an activity that can help children develop confidence through understanding their uniqueness. An example of how children with special needs are affirmed in their uniqueness is described in Revealing His Heart. Gundelina Velazco outlines the principles, which have helped thousands of street children through the Pavement Project. Cherilyn Orr then explains how one group of refugee children were helped to re-establish a sense of dignity. Elaine de Villiers highlights how our words can affect children’s self image and sense of dignity. Paulus Samuel closes the issue’s theme by reflecting on the importance of personal relationships, within professional responses, when working with children in need.

Building on the earlier work of Viva Network’s Reaching Children at Risk Journal, RESTORE will draw on the rich experience and expertise of practitioners and thinkers making a difference for children at risk.

Published on behalf of Viva Network by Viva Network Asia Centre Berhad, PO Box 13230, GPO 50804, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Website: www.asia.viva.org

This is the first of seven issues following the seven themes of the working document Understanding God’s Heart Biblical Framework. You can find the document on the RESTORE website: www.viva. org/restore along with related articles.

For enquiries or subscriptions: E-mail restore@viva.org Phone: +60 3 90584154 Fax: +60 3 90584057 Website: www.viva.org/restore

This first issue is therefore about Dignity – an overarching theme of central importance to our relationships with children and therefore our work with them.

The Restore team is: Vani Jeyachandran, Olivia Turley, Kok Chik Bu and Katharine de Villiers.

God creates every unique person as a child with dignity. We all begin life as children, created in the image of God. Children are born fully human, with identity and purpose. The journey of childhood is part of God’s plan. All people reflect God’s image through living in loving community with him and one another. Children most fully express their God-given dignity in glorifying Him.

Cover Photo: Stephanie Mallen, Hope for the Nations Design & Layout: Touch Creative

Editorial

God intends that no one prevent a child’s life from fulfilling His purpose. Respecting the image of God in every child demands a Christlike response to nurture them throughout childhood.

What comes to mind when you hear the word RESTORE? give back ... heal ... improve ... rejuvenate ... fix ... redeem ... revive ... rehabilitate

Statement 1 of the ‘Understanding God’s Heart Biblical Framework’, a working document.

As Christians, called to be a reflection of God’s heart for children at risk, we seek to RESTORE children’s circumstances – families, communities and environment to God’s standards – thus to RESTORE their ability to become all that God intends.

The first two articles help us to understand dignity, bringing together children’s experiences and biblical understanding. Paul Stockley introduces this issue by comparing the indignities that children face in our world with the dignity that Jesus gives to children, and that which we are asked to give. Doug McConnell further develops the biblical ideas of dignity through exploring the relationships God intended for us when he made us in his image. You could use this article and the

RESTORE is a learning and sharing tool to help Christian child activists and practitioners around the world in their work with children at risk by: • Stimulating Biblical reflection of what it means to pursue God’s plan for children

2

Contents

Do take a look at the suggestions for helpful websites on the inside back cover.

Page

4 6

Dignity?

Paul Stockley

God creates every unique person as a child with dignity

Doug McConnell

Child Participation: questions and answers

Louie Cadaing

9

Confidence: my uniqueness

Wanda Parker

12

Revealing his heart

Calvary Church Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

14 16

The next two issues will focus on significant adults in children’s lives; and the roles of parents, family and community in children’s development.

The Big Green Bag Gundelina of Pavement Project: Velazco A Quest for Quality in Helping Children

We will continue to develop our emphasis on practical ideas that you can adapt to your context for use with the children that you work with as well as reflection to link Biblical understanding with that practice.

Travel pack for the refugee child on the highway

Cherilyn Orr

19

Words: building up or knocking down

Elaine de Villiers

21

Does our response-ability matter?

Paulus Samuel

23

We, the RESTORE team, would love to hear from you – the ideas you found helpful and how you used them in your situation; what you’d like to see in future issues and any other comments. We’d also like to thank our sponsors who have made the launch of RESTORE possible.

Websites

You can contact us at the Viva Network Asia Centre (details on the back cover) or through our website.

24

TOOLKIT - Child participation: questions and answer - The Big Green Bag of Pavement Project: A Quest for Quality in Helping children - Travel Pack for the refugee child on the highway - Words: buiding up or knocking down

With our prayers that this magazine will aid you in restoring God-given dignity to the children you work with, The RESTORE team

3


RESTORE

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

RESTORE is an international initiative of Viva Network. Copyright © Viva Network 2005 and the respective Authors. All rights reserved. Viva Network is an NGO in Roster Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Registered Charity No. 1053389.

• Motivating and Equipping through examples of best practices to raise the standard for children

reflection questions at the end for personal or group devotions.

• Bridging the gap between Biblical reflection and best practice

The next articles explore practical responses; ways of restoring dignity to children and allowing children to live in and express their dignity. Louie Cadaing gives some key principles and ideas for child participation. Wanda Parker follows this with an activity that can help children develop confidence through understanding their uniqueness. An example of how children with special needs are affirmed in their uniqueness is described in Revealing His Heart. Gundelina Velazco outlines the principles, which have helped thousands of street children through the Pavement Project. Cherilyn Orr then explains how one group of refugee children were helped to re-establish a sense of dignity. Elaine de Villiers highlights how our words can affect children’s self image and sense of dignity. Paulus Samuel closes the issue’s theme by reflecting on the importance of personal relationships, within professional responses, when working with children in need.

Building on the earlier work of Viva Network’s Reaching Children at Risk Journal, RESTORE will draw on the rich experience and expertise of practitioners and thinkers making a difference for children at risk.

Published on behalf of Viva Network by Viva Network Asia Centre Berhad, PO Box 13230, GPO 50804, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Website: www.asia.viva.org

This is the first of seven issues following the seven themes of the working document Understanding God’s Heart Biblical Framework. You can find the document on the RESTORE website: www.viva. org/restore along with related articles.

For enquiries or subscriptions: E-mail restore@viva.org Phone: +60 3 90584154 Fax: +60 3 90584057 Website: www.viva.org/restore

This first issue is therefore about Dignity – an overarching theme of central importance to our relationships with children and therefore our work with them.

The Restore team is: Vani Jeyachandran, Olivia Turley, Kok Chik Bu and Katharine de Villiers.

God creates every unique person as a child with dignity. We all begin life as children, created in the image of God. Children are born fully human, with identity and purpose. The journey of childhood is part of God’s plan. All people reflect God’s image through living in loving community with him and one another. Children most fully express their God-given dignity in glorifying Him.

Cover Photo: Stephanie Mallen, Hope for the Nations Design & Layout: Touch Creative

Editorial

God intends that no one prevent a child’s life from fulfilling His purpose. Respecting the image of God in every child demands a Christlike response to nurture them throughout childhood.

What comes to mind when you hear the word RESTORE? give back ... heal ... improve ... rejuvenate ... fix ... redeem ... revive ... rehabilitate

Statement 1 of the ‘Understanding God’s Heart Biblical Framework’, a working document.

As Christians, called to be a reflection of God’s heart for children at risk, we seek to RESTORE children’s circumstances – families, communities and environment to God’s standards – thus to RESTORE their ability to become all that God intends.

The first two articles help us to understand dignity, bringing together children’s experiences and biblical understanding. Paul Stockley introduces this issue by comparing the indignities that children face in our world with the dignity that Jesus gives to children, and that which we are asked to give. Doug McConnell further develops the biblical ideas of dignity through exploring the relationships God intended for us when he made us in his image. You could use this article and the

RESTORE is a learning and sharing tool to help Christian child activists and practitioners around the world in their work with children at risk by: • Stimulating Biblical reflection of what it means to pursue God’s plan for children

2

Contents

Do take a look at the suggestions for helpful websites on the inside back cover.

Page

4 6

Dignity?

Paul Stockley

God creates every unique person as a child with dignity

Doug McConnell

Child Participation: questions and answers

Louie Cadaing

9

Confidence: my uniqueness

Wanda Parker

12

Revealing his heart

Calvary Church Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

14 16

The next two issues will focus on significant adults in children’s lives; and the roles of parents, family and community in children’s development.

The Big Green Bag Gundelina of Pavement Project: Velazco A Quest for Quality in Helping Children

We will continue to develop our emphasis on practical ideas that you can adapt to your context for use with the children that you work with as well as reflection to link Biblical understanding with that practice.

Travel pack for the refugee child on the highway

Cherilyn Orr

19

Words: building up or knocking down

Elaine de Villiers

21

Does our response-ability matter?

Paulus Samuel

23

We, the RESTORE team, would love to hear from you – the ideas you found helpful and how you used them in your situation; what you’d like to see in future issues and any other comments. We’d also like to thank our sponsors who have made the launch of RESTORE possible.

Websites

You can contact us at the Viva Network Asia Centre (details on the back cover) or through our website.

24

TOOLKIT - Child participation: questions and answer - The Big Green Bag of Pavement Project: A Quest for Quality in Helping children - Travel Pack for the refugee child on the highway - Words: buiding up or knocking down

With our prayers that this magazine will aid you in restoring God-given dignity to the children you work with, The RESTORE team

3


RESTORE

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

Dignity?

may not appreciate the implications and consequences of decisions and actions.

Paul Stockley

Absolute outrage! Nothing less could describe the response I felt to such an obscene indignity. While doing a research study of child soldiers in Uganda and Burma, I sensed the utter debasement of our humanity in making children fight adult wars. I read the personal accounts of children forced to commit atrocities under threat of bloody and painful death at the point of a gun or machete. These accounts filled my head and kept me awake at night. No words can describe the revulsion and abhorrence I feel to such an evil.

fall short of God’s glory. We often fail to live up to the image of God within us, and we often fail to see that image in others.

It is right to feel angry, and to grieve over such inhuman actions. God feels anger, and grieves for these children too. Rightly we condemn such violations. Yet before we are too hasty to demonise those who perpetrate such acts, we must recognise that we also

Equally, whenever we judge children by our adult values and perspectives without attempting to check whether our assumptions about their intentions and motivations are correct, we do them an injustice. A young person of 12 or 13 years does not see the world in the same way as an adult, and

Let us look at life closer to home, in our own communities, churches and families. And I am not thinking of abusive families. I have in mind those we usually think of as “good enough” families at the very least, or even as positive nurturing families.

Everyday decisions about life may seem small matters to us, but they have an impact upon our children: moving house, changing For you, perhaps there are other scenarios schools, daily routines, and so on. Do we make which evoke such a such decisions without response: exploitation including them in the Everyday decisions about life of children in industry process? Naturally, may seem small matters to us, through bonded labour; such inclusion should violation and abuse of but they have an impact be in a manner childhood for the sex appropriate to their upon our children. trade; targeting of the level of development. Do we make such decisions child for commercial Yet whenever we deny without including them interest, manipulative children such inclusion in the process? advertising and fashion we are effectively telling branding; or one of them that their thoughts many other cases where children are treated and feelings about what is happening to as objects for adult ends. It is not hard to them aren’t important: “Your opinion doesn’t see how the world fails to accord children count.” Or to put it more starkly: “You are not their God–given dignity and robs them of a person.” We strip them of their God–given the respect they deserve as human beings dignity. And the flame of self–worth inside created in the divine image. them begins to flicker and die.

4

respect. No–one has ever told them they are of infinite value and worth. No–one has shown them love unconditionally.

Young Jesus was a case in point here! (see Luke 2:41–52) As a child, on a family trip, So we must respond. Not to make us feel we he stayed behind at the temple, much to his are “doing some good”, or meeting the need. parents’ surprise, and caused them great Not out of pity, nor simply out of compassion anxiety. You can imagine his parents saying, — such a motivation is healthy, but not “How could you do this to us?” — almost enough! We must respond because the very accusing him for their own unintended image of God is being defaced in the lives of neglect in abandoning him. The astonishing these children. And we seek the honour of innocence of Jesus’ reply should sound a God’s holy name. Will these children’s faces note of caution to all of us who assume our radiate God’s image once again? We yearn children are acting to see it. Will their lives with malicious intent. freely witness to the Everyday decisions about life Jesus is totally transforming Spirit of may seem small matters to us, unaware of the panic Christ at work in them but they have an impact that has been going and through them? upon our children. on as a result of his We pray they will. (2 absence. In fact, he Corinthians 3:17–18 Do we make such decisions is not even aware that without including them in the process? and 4:6–7) he has been absent or missing. He was At times the challenge present in the temple all along. facing us might seem overwhelming. But perhaps the opportunities and answers are Fortunately, it seems that Jesus’ parents took closer to us than we think. In restoring to note. But many adults don’t. Consequently, children their dignity, we restore to ourselves instead of positively nurturing children with the opportunity to learn about God’s way dignity in their God–given purpose, we of doing things. Let’s not forget that “the frustrate, exasperate and provoke them to kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” anger (Ephesians 6:4). and “the angels of these children always see the face of God.” (Matthew 19:13–15 Loss of esteem and lack of self–worth and 18:3–5, 10) Our first need is to change inevitably follow whenever children are not ourselves and learn once again what it is to treated with dignity and respect. Whether be a child (Matthew 18:3). turned outward in violence and rage, or inward in depression, self–injury and addiction, there Next time we encounter a child will we is a common cause: the flame of life is dying repeat the cycle of indignity? May God show on the inside. us mercy. Or, attentive to the Spirit of Christ, will we perceive the divine image, honour Even in a city like Oxford in England, where the child’s God–given dignity, and allow this children are rich by the world’s measure, with encounter to become a moment of grace? the latest fashions and electronic toys, I see the same root problem that I see in many Paul Stockley is a freelance child children living on the streets of towns such as development worker. He says ‘I care Fusa in Colombia: children with no sense of deeply about three things: God-talk & themselves. No–one has ever acknowledged theology, children & childhood, peacethe image of God in these children. No– building & non-violence’. Paul edited the one has ever treated them with dignity and predecessor to RESTORE. 

5


RESTORE

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

Dignity?

may not appreciate the implications and consequences of decisions and actions.

Paul Stockley

Absolute outrage! Nothing less could describe the response I felt to such an obscene indignity. While doing a research study of child soldiers in Uganda and Burma, I sensed the utter debasement of our humanity in making children fight adult wars. I read the personal accounts of children forced to commit atrocities under threat of bloody and painful death at the point of a gun or machete. These accounts filled my head and kept me awake at night. No words can describe the revulsion and abhorrence I feel to such an evil.

fall short of God’s glory. We often fail to live up to the image of God within us, and we often fail to see that image in others.

It is right to feel angry, and to grieve over such inhuman actions. God feels anger, and grieves for these children too. Rightly we condemn such violations. Yet before we are too hasty to demonise those who perpetrate such acts, we must recognise that we also

Equally, whenever we judge children by our adult values and perspectives without attempting to check whether our assumptions about their intentions and motivations are correct, we do them an injustice. A young person of 12 or 13 years does not see the world in the same way as an adult, and

Let us look at life closer to home, in our own communities, churches and families. And I am not thinking of abusive families. I have in mind those we usually think of as “good enough” families at the very least, or even as positive nurturing families.

Everyday decisions about life may seem small matters to us, but they have an impact upon our children: moving house, changing For you, perhaps there are other scenarios schools, daily routines, and so on. Do we make which evoke such a such decisions without response: exploitation including them in the Everyday decisions about life of children in industry process? Naturally, may seem small matters to us, through bonded labour; such inclusion should violation and abuse of but they have an impact be in a manner childhood for the sex appropriate to their upon our children. trade; targeting of the level of development. Do we make such decisions child for commercial Yet whenever we deny without including them interest, manipulative children such inclusion in the process? advertising and fashion we are effectively telling branding; or one of them that their thoughts many other cases where children are treated and feelings about what is happening to as objects for adult ends. It is not hard to them aren’t important: “Your opinion doesn’t see how the world fails to accord children count.” Or to put it more starkly: “You are not their God–given dignity and robs them of a person.” We strip them of their God–given the respect they deserve as human beings dignity. And the flame of self–worth inside created in the divine image. them begins to flicker and die.

4

respect. No–one has ever told them they are of infinite value and worth. No–one has shown them love unconditionally.

Young Jesus was a case in point here! (see Luke 2:41–52) As a child, on a family trip, So we must respond. Not to make us feel we he stayed behind at the temple, much to his are “doing some good”, or meeting the need. parents’ surprise, and caused them great Not out of pity, nor simply out of compassion anxiety. You can imagine his parents saying, — such a motivation is healthy, but not “How could you do this to us?” — almost enough! We must respond because the very accusing him for their own unintended image of God is being defaced in the lives of neglect in abandoning him. The astonishing these children. And we seek the honour of innocence of Jesus’ reply should sound a God’s holy name. Will these children’s faces note of caution to all of us who assume our radiate God’s image once again? We yearn children are acting to see it. Will their lives with malicious intent. freely witness to the Everyday decisions about life Jesus is totally transforming Spirit of may seem small matters to us, unaware of the panic Christ at work in them but they have an impact that has been going and through them? upon our children. on as a result of his We pray they will. (2 absence. In fact, he Corinthians 3:17–18 Do we make such decisions is not even aware that without including them in the process? and 4:6–7) he has been absent or missing. He was At times the challenge present in the temple all along. facing us might seem overwhelming. But perhaps the opportunities and answers are Fortunately, it seems that Jesus’ parents took closer to us than we think. In restoring to note. But many adults don’t. Consequently, children their dignity, we restore to ourselves instead of positively nurturing children with the opportunity to learn about God’s way dignity in their God–given purpose, we of doing things. Let’s not forget that “the frustrate, exasperate and provoke them to kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” anger (Ephesians 6:4). and “the angels of these children always see the face of God.” (Matthew 19:13–15 Loss of esteem and lack of self–worth and 18:3–5, 10) Our first need is to change inevitably follow whenever children are not ourselves and learn once again what it is to treated with dignity and respect. Whether be a child (Matthew 18:3). turned outward in violence and rage, or inward in depression, self–injury and addiction, there Next time we encounter a child will we is a common cause: the flame of life is dying repeat the cycle of indignity? May God show on the inside. us mercy. Or, attentive to the Spirit of Christ, will we perceive the divine image, honour Even in a city like Oxford in England, where the child’s God–given dignity, and allow this children are rich by the world’s measure, with encounter to become a moment of grace? the latest fashions and electronic toys, I see the same root problem that I see in many Paul Stockley is a freelance child children living on the streets of towns such as development worker. He says ‘I care Fusa in Colombia: children with no sense of deeply about three things: God-talk & themselves. No–one has ever acknowledged theology, children & childhood, peacethe image of God in these children. No– building & non-violence’. Paul edited the one has ever treated them with dignity and predecessor to RESTORE. 

5


RESTORE

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

God dignity

God creates every unique person as a child with dignity Doug McConnell

of humankind. Being in relationship to God, to one another, and to all of creation is a unique characteristic of humans created in the image of God. To better understand the image of God, we must look at these relationships individually.

The sidewalk café outside the restaurant was crowded as I moved toward the door. Before I could enter, a familiar voice called out, “Grandpa you’re late! I’ve already eaten.” I looked up to see Emma sitting at a table with her family. In her mind, my presence was not only appreciated, it was expected. As I paused to greet my daughter’s family, I realized that to five-year-old Emma the only reason Grandpa would be there was to spend time with her.

In Relationship to God We understand the being of God as existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the beginning, the triune God created all things and declared creation very good (Gen. 1:31). At the crown of this creation, God created humankind in his image, distinct from the rest of creation (Gen. 1:27a). Created as persons, human beings are in relationship to God.

In her innocence, Emma reminds us of an important theme in Scripture. Relationships help to define who we are and why we exist. In the story of creation, human beings hold a special position in the created order. So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:27-28, NRSV).

In a very significant way, the creation of male and female as persons in relationship to their Creator stands in contrast to all the rest of creation. As Barth noted, humans have the ability to enter into a personal relationship, speak to God, and make covenants with him.1

In Relationship to Humankind

The Genesis account provides the beginning point from which to understand the uniqueness

beings are in relationship to one another. From the beginning, humankind was both male and female (Gen. 1:27b). As created persons dependent upon God, human beings are also interdependent on one another. This is clearly seen in the fulfillment of the command to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28a). God chose to multiply humankind through the physical bond between the male and female. As Gunton puts it, “To be in the image of God is therefore to be in necessary relation to others so made.”2 As persons in relationship with one another, we find an important expression of the image of God.

to God requires that we recognize his ownership of creation. In the goodness of God, we see not only his ownership but also our own dependence on the creation. The bountiful earth provides the home in which we may be fruitful and multiply. Based on our relationship to God, to other persons, and to creation, we can now more fully understand the dignity of personhood. Every person is created in the image of God, with dignity and the unique capacity to impact our existence. It is here that anyone who works with children at risk must stop and ask about the reality of sin.

Each child born of human parents is linked irrevocably through procreation to the first two human beings and carries the image of God from one generation to the next. And with that link there is a relationship to God and to every other person. The dignity we share as persons is not based on privilege or decision, but rather on God’s plan for creation.

The

Problem Experience

In Relationship to Creation Along with the dignity shared by all human beings, there is a God-given responsibility to care for creation. One important result of the command to populate the earth was that we would “subdue it; and have dominion over [the earth]” (Gen. 1:28). Part of the uniqueness of being human is that we must be stewards of the planet that is our home. Our relationship

Gunton provides some relief to the dilemma: “At the very least, the human being, simply as created, is of the kind of being that a certain radical moral respect is due to every human person, however sunk in villainy and depravity.”3 One of the biggest challenges for all who serve

2

C.E. Gunton, 1998. The Triune Creator, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, page 208.

Karl Barth, 1957-75. Church Dogmatics, translation edited by G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance. Volume III.1.183-187. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.

6

our

Looking, as we must, at the despicable actions of the sex trafficker or the oppressive hand of a corrupt political leader, we are aghast at the thought that they, too, are created in the image of God. Is it not right to hate them or see them as somehow less human than we are - and certainly as less in need of care than the children we commit our lives to serving?

In addition to the relationship to God, human

1

of

3Gunton, page 204.

7


RESTORE

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

God dignity

God creates every unique person as a child with dignity Doug McConnell

of humankind. Being in relationship to God, to one another, and to all of creation is a unique characteristic of humans created in the image of God. To better understand the image of God, we must look at these relationships individually.

The sidewalk café outside the restaurant was crowded as I moved toward the door. Before I could enter, a familiar voice called out, “Grandpa you’re late! I’ve already eaten.” I looked up to see Emma sitting at a table with her family. In her mind, my presence was not only appreciated, it was expected. As I paused to greet my daughter’s family, I realized that to five-year-old Emma the only reason Grandpa would be there was to spend time with her.

In Relationship to God We understand the being of God as existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the beginning, the triune God created all things and declared creation very good (Gen. 1:31). At the crown of this creation, God created humankind in his image, distinct from the rest of creation (Gen. 1:27a). Created as persons, human beings are in relationship to God.

In her innocence, Emma reminds us of an important theme in Scripture. Relationships help to define who we are and why we exist. In the story of creation, human beings hold a special position in the created order. So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:27-28, NRSV).

In a very significant way, the creation of male and female as persons in relationship to their Creator stands in contrast to all the rest of creation. As Barth noted, humans have the ability to enter into a personal relationship, speak to God, and make covenants with him.1

In Relationship to Humankind

The Genesis account provides the beginning point from which to understand the uniqueness

beings are in relationship to one another. From the beginning, humankind was both male and female (Gen. 1:27b). As created persons dependent upon God, human beings are also interdependent on one another. This is clearly seen in the fulfillment of the command to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28a). God chose to multiply humankind through the physical bond between the male and female. As Gunton puts it, “To be in the image of God is therefore to be in necessary relation to others so made.”2 As persons in relationship with one another, we find an important expression of the image of God.

to God requires that we recognize his ownership of creation. In the goodness of God, we see not only his ownership but also our own dependence on the creation. The bountiful earth provides the home in which we may be fruitful and multiply. Based on our relationship to God, to other persons, and to creation, we can now more fully understand the dignity of personhood. Every person is created in the image of God, with dignity and the unique capacity to impact our existence. It is here that anyone who works with children at risk must stop and ask about the reality of sin.

Each child born of human parents is linked irrevocably through procreation to the first two human beings and carries the image of God from one generation to the next. And with that link there is a relationship to God and to every other person. The dignity we share as persons is not based on privilege or decision, but rather on God’s plan for creation.

The

Problem Experience

In Relationship to Creation Along with the dignity shared by all human beings, there is a God-given responsibility to care for creation. One important result of the command to populate the earth was that we would “subdue it; and have dominion over [the earth]” (Gen. 1:28). Part of the uniqueness of being human is that we must be stewards of the planet that is our home. Our relationship

Gunton provides some relief to the dilemma: “At the very least, the human being, simply as created, is of the kind of being that a certain radical moral respect is due to every human person, however sunk in villainy and depravity.”3 One of the biggest challenges for all who serve

2

C.E. Gunton, 1998. The Triune Creator, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, page 208.

Karl Barth, 1957-75. Church Dogmatics, translation edited by G. W. Bromiley and T. F. Torrance. Volume III.1.183-187. Edinburgh: T & T Clark.

6

our

Looking, as we must, at the despicable actions of the sex trafficker or the oppressive hand of a corrupt political leader, we are aghast at the thought that they, too, are created in the image of God. Is it not right to hate them or see them as somehow less human than we are - and certainly as less in need of care than the children we commit our lives to serving?

In addition to the relationship to God, human

1

of

3Gunton, page 204.

7


RESTORE

TOOLKIT

pursuing God’s standards for children

children at risk is to maintain perspective in the midst of crisis. To do so, we must identify with the source of the dignity. It is not in the creature, but in the Creator. As Grogin noted, “The infinite value of each person rests on the divine image.”4

of our mission, we must also recognize that God is calling us to serve together with other followers of Christ. By networking with others, we begin to expand our impact. Through our local churches, we can develop networks of witness and service that seek to impact the varied needs of children at risk. Perhaps the best place to start is to find out which other groups are working with the children we serve and how can we multiply our efforts through working together. When we identify the range of service to the children and the areas that still need help, we are better able to find the unique contribution we are called to make.

In Jesus, we are introduced to an amazing new dimension of the dignity of the divine image. Through the incarnation, God became human in order to reconcile us to himself. Our collective uniqueness as humans in the created order, therefore, is grounded in the image of God, on the event of the incarnation of God to reconcile the world, and the promise of his coming kingdom, thereby consummating all of human history.5

Questions to be considered:

Serving with Dignity

1.

Through creation, every human being begins the journey of life as a child with dignity. All children are of infinite value to the Creator simply because they are created in God’s image. Their worth is not primarily found in their potential, but in their being as children. Through the birth of Jesus as a child, God became a human, revealing the true value of all human life. As it is so often stated, children are human beings, not human becomings. We therefore affirm that childhood is an integral part of God’s plan for human beings.

Why are relationships an important part of who we are as persons?

2.

What are the relationships?

implications

of

our

3.

How should our stewardship of creation impact our work with children?

4.

In what ways do our actions toward others and toward creation relate to God?

Doug McConnell is the Dean of School for Intercultural Studies and an Associate Professor of Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. In addition to his other responsibilities, McConnell established the concentration on mission to children at risk in the School of Intercultural

Beyond this affirmation, we recognize that as bearers of the message of redemption in Christ, our service is not limited to children at risk.6 If we are to embrace the transformation that God desires, the mission is to seek the welfare of both the children at risk and the ones who put them at risk. As we recognize the overwhelming scope

Studies. 

4

Grogan, G.W. 1995. New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology. Eds. David J. Atkinson and David H. Field, s.v. “Image of God.” Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, page 476.

5

Moltmann, J. (1984). On Human Dignity: Political Theology and Ethics. Translated by M. Douglas Meeks, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, page 20.

6

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

CHILD PARTICIPATION: CHILD PARTICIPATION: questions

questionsLouie and answers and answers Cadaing talks to RESTORE Louiefrom Cadaing her talks toexperiences, RESTORE including fromdeveloping Lifestream experiences, Philippines. including Ministries, her Manila, Lifestream Ministries, Lifestreamdeveloping has child participation at the heart of its programs. Manila, Philippines. Lifestream has child participation at the heart of its programs. What do you consider to be child participation?

realizing their full potential according to God’s plan, with the love and support of responsible adults. When children are able to participate, they are able to perform and exercise their Godgiven potential. Such engagement produces trust and confidence in oneself.

Child participation is active and meaningful engagement of children in decisions and processes that affect their lives. It is pro-active and deliberately willed action on the part of adults to involve children and to create opportunities for children to be involved meaningfully. There are stages of child participation – from information sharing, consulting and managing to making decisions and taking action. Participation should be encouraged as children are ready. Meaningful child participation does not promote tokenism or manipulation.

Likewise, under international law, particularly the CRC, children have the right to be consulted in decisions concerning their lives. According to Article 12 of the convention, children must be asked to give opinions about matters affecting them, including legal and administrative proceedings. This should take into account the age and maturity of the child. Children know what is happening to their lives, often better than us adults! As adults, we sometimes make assumptions about how children think and see life. Therefore, we base our conclusions on information, which is not necessarily consistent with how children see things. This can have a negative impact. However, with trust, confidence and a supportive and creative environment, children can participate meaningfully.

Why do child participation? From a biblical point of view, God values children as much as adults. All human beings are made in his image. By virtue of creation, children have innate value, worth, dignity, talents and potential which should be used according to God’s purpose and which should lead to children

2 Corinthians 5:19-21

8

9


RESTORE

TOOLKIT

pursuing God’s standards for children

children at risk is to maintain perspective in the midst of crisis. To do so, we must identify with the source of the dignity. It is not in the creature, but in the Creator. As Grogin noted, “The infinite value of each person rests on the divine image.”4

of our mission, we must also recognize that God is calling us to serve together with other followers of Christ. By networking with others, we begin to expand our impact. Through our local churches, we can develop networks of witness and service that seek to impact the varied needs of children at risk. Perhaps the best place to start is to find out which other groups are working with the children we serve and how can we multiply our efforts through working together. When we identify the range of service to the children and the areas that still need help, we are better able to find the unique contribution we are called to make.

In Jesus, we are introduced to an amazing new dimension of the dignity of the divine image. Through the incarnation, God became human in order to reconcile us to himself. Our collective uniqueness as humans in the created order, therefore, is grounded in the image of God, on the event of the incarnation of God to reconcile the world, and the promise of his coming kingdom, thereby consummating all of human history.5

Questions to be considered:

Serving with Dignity

1.

Through creation, every human being begins the journey of life as a child with dignity. All children are of infinite value to the Creator simply because they are created in God’s image. Their worth is not primarily found in their potential, but in their being as children. Through the birth of Jesus as a child, God became a human, revealing the true value of all human life. As it is so often stated, children are human beings, not human becomings. We therefore affirm that childhood is an integral part of God’s plan for human beings.

Why are relationships an important part of who we are as persons?

2.

What are the relationships?

implications

of

our

3.

How should our stewardship of creation impact our work with children?

4.

In what ways do our actions toward others and toward creation relate to God?

Doug McConnell is the Dean of School for Intercultural Studies and an Associate Professor of Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. In addition to his other responsibilities, McConnell established the concentration on mission to children at risk in the School of Intercultural

Beyond this affirmation, we recognize that as bearers of the message of redemption in Christ, our service is not limited to children at risk.6 If we are to embrace the transformation that God desires, the mission is to seek the welfare of both the children at risk and the ones who put them at risk. As we recognize the overwhelming scope

Studies. 

4

Grogan, G.W. 1995. New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology. Eds. David J. Atkinson and David H. Field, s.v. “Image of God.” Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, page 476.

5

Moltmann, J. (1984). On Human Dignity: Political Theology and Ethics. Translated by M. Douglas Meeks, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, page 20.

6

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

CHILD PARTICIPATION: CHILD PARTICIPATION: questions

questionsLouie and answers and answers Cadaing talks to RESTORE Louiefrom Cadaing her talks toexperiences, RESTORE including fromdeveloping Lifestream experiences, Philippines. including Ministries, her Manila, Lifestream Ministries, Lifestreamdeveloping has child participation at the heart of its programs. Manila, Philippines. Lifestream has child participation at the heart of its programs. What do you consider to be child participation?

realizing their full potential according to God’s plan, with the love and support of responsible adults. When children are able to participate, they are able to perform and exercise their Godgiven potential. Such engagement produces trust and confidence in oneself.

Child participation is active and meaningful engagement of children in decisions and processes that affect their lives. It is pro-active and deliberately willed action on the part of adults to involve children and to create opportunities for children to be involved meaningfully. There are stages of child participation – from information sharing, consulting and managing to making decisions and taking action. Participation should be encouraged as children are ready. Meaningful child participation does not promote tokenism or manipulation.

Likewise, under international law, particularly the CRC, children have the right to be consulted in decisions concerning their lives. According to Article 12 of the convention, children must be asked to give opinions about matters affecting them, including legal and administrative proceedings. This should take into account the age and maturity of the child. Children know what is happening to their lives, often better than us adults! As adults, we sometimes make assumptions about how children think and see life. Therefore, we base our conclusions on information, which is not necessarily consistent with how children see things. This can have a negative impact. However, with trust, confidence and a supportive and creative environment, children can participate meaningfully.

Why do child participation? From a biblical point of view, God values children as much as adults. All human beings are made in his image. By virtue of creation, children have innate value, worth, dignity, talents and potential which should be used according to God’s purpose and which should lead to children

2 Corinthians 5:19-21

8

9


RESTORE pursuing God’s standards for children

TOOLKIT

Issue 1

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05

children to share their ideas and opinions

• Some of the participation methodologies and tools are defined in adult terms in an adult environment, for example, using exercises that are complex or too simple can discourage child participation

• Safe and supportive environments: the child who lives in a participatory family environment at a young age, encouraged to express himself or herself, where responsibilities are encouraged early, opinions are solicited, and views respected, is one who is ready to engage in participatory activities outside the home. It is essential to create safe places where the young can meet peacefully, where they are not endangered, to express their views regardless of political or religious affiliation

Child participation: Asia Cutting Edge 2004

How can child participation move from tokenism to meaningful input? Is it just input or can it be dialogue?

How can children participate actively? Please outline some principles and ways in which it can be done. There are a number of models that can be studied to explore child participation. One model identifies progressing levels of participation from manipulation to shared decisions with adults towards action. Another model segments children’s participation according to its extent ranging from where children are ignored to where children are in charge: they decide what to do, and adults are involved only when asked. Still another model invites us to try three approaches: consultation, participation, and self advocacy. Whatever the model, some common principles apply:

• Voluntary: the right to participate implies the right to decide not to participate • Informed: children should know the background, purpose, risks and possible outcomes of their participation before they are asked if they wish to participate • In the best interest of the child: the benefits that a child can expect from participating in an activity should always be greater than the potential disadvantages and risks • Meaningful: participation should have a purpose, and a realistic chance of achieving the children’s goals

• Life cycle and role indicators (the roles are defined depending on the age/life cycle of the child—age specific/age appropriate roles, tools and methodologies and strategies)

• Protecting children: ensuring that children are protected from physical, emotional, psychological, developmental, and moral harm while they are participating

• Participation according to evolving capacity: child-friendly methods such as use of creative arts and role play are effective in allowing

10

• Power relations between adult-child, childchild, and boy-girl. Management of the dynamics of these relationships will affect the extent of participation • Cannot be universally applied: the extent and level of participation as well as the tools and methodologies need to be developed in specific socio-cultural contexts

• Opportunities: all children should be provided opportunities or opportunities should be created so children can participate

• Different attitudes of children depending on age, gender, cultural and ethnic background, social and political context. The impact/state (both positive and negative) of home, school, and community life also determines level and extent of participation

• Positive relationships: the positive elements of trust and respect must exist between adults and children and among children themselves • Give children responsibility: if children are given responsibility, they will gradually become empowered decision makers.

• Sustainability: a long term commitment to genuine meaningful child participation is always a challenge – not just a fad, but a commitment

What are some of the pitfalls (challenges) you have discovered? And how might other people avoid them?

Over to you... What are your experiences with child participation? What other guidance can you share with RESTORE readers? You can contact us at the address on the back cover and we will share your ideas in a future issue or on the RESTORE website.

Some of the more common pitfalls that we have experienced are the following: • “Forcing” children to participate. A “you must participate” attitude of adults decreases the authenticity of child participation. While we encourage children to participate because it is their right, it is also the child’s right NOT to participate and this must be respected

Louie Cadaing is the Asia Children at Risk Facilitator for Tearfund UK. Previously she developed Lifestream Ministries, an urban, church-based child development programme in Quezon City, Philippines. She facilitated Children’s Cutting Edge, the children’s track of Asia Cutting Edge in 2004.

You can find links to a range of resources on child participation at: www.viva.org and an example of how Lifestream Ministries in the Philippines managed to engage children with the Convention on the Rights of the Child at www.viva.org

11


RESTORE pursuing God’s standards for children

TOOLKIT

Issue 1

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05

children to share their ideas and opinions

• Some of the participation methodologies and tools are defined in adult terms in an adult environment, for example, using exercises that are complex or too simple can discourage child participation

• Safe and supportive environments: the child who lives in a participatory family environment at a young age, encouraged to express himself or herself, where responsibilities are encouraged early, opinions are solicited, and views respected, is one who is ready to engage in participatory activities outside the home. It is essential to create safe places where the young can meet peacefully, where they are not endangered, to express their views regardless of political or religious affiliation

Child participation: Asia Cutting Edge 2004

How can child participation move from tokenism to meaningful input? Is it just input or can it be dialogue?

How can children participate actively? Please outline some principles and ways in which it can be done. There are a number of models that can be studied to explore child participation. One model identifies progressing levels of participation from manipulation to shared decisions with adults towards action. Another model segments children’s participation according to its extent ranging from where children are ignored to where children are in charge: they decide what to do, and adults are involved only when asked. Still another model invites us to try three approaches: consultation, participation, and self advocacy. Whatever the model, some common principles apply:

• Voluntary: the right to participate implies the right to decide not to participate • Informed: children should know the background, purpose, risks and possible outcomes of their participation before they are asked if they wish to participate • In the best interest of the child: the benefits that a child can expect from participating in an activity should always be greater than the potential disadvantages and risks • Meaningful: participation should have a purpose, and a realistic chance of achieving the children’s goals

• Life cycle and role indicators (the roles are defined depending on the age/life cycle of the child—age specific/age appropriate roles, tools and methodologies and strategies)

• Protecting children: ensuring that children are protected from physical, emotional, psychological, developmental, and moral harm while they are participating

• Participation according to evolving capacity: child-friendly methods such as use of creative arts and role play are effective in allowing

10

• Power relations between adult-child, childchild, and boy-girl. Management of the dynamics of these relationships will affect the extent of participation • Cannot be universally applied: the extent and level of participation as well as the tools and methodologies need to be developed in specific socio-cultural contexts

• Opportunities: all children should be provided opportunities or opportunities should be created so children can participate

• Different attitudes of children depending on age, gender, cultural and ethnic background, social and political context. The impact/state (both positive and negative) of home, school, and community life also determines level and extent of participation

• Positive relationships: the positive elements of trust and respect must exist between adults and children and among children themselves • Give children responsibility: if children are given responsibility, they will gradually become empowered decision makers.

• Sustainability: a long term commitment to genuine meaningful child participation is always a challenge – not just a fad, but a commitment

What are some of the pitfalls (challenges) you have discovered? And how might other people avoid them?

Over to you... What are your experiences with child participation? What other guidance can you share with RESTORE readers? You can contact us at the address on the back cover and we will share your ideas in a future issue or on the RESTORE website.

Some of the more common pitfalls that we have experienced are the following: • “Forcing” children to participate. A “you must participate” attitude of adults decreases the authenticity of child participation. While we encourage children to participate because it is their right, it is also the child’s right NOT to participate and this must be respected

Louie Cadaing is the Asia Children at Risk Facilitator for Tearfund UK. Previously she developed Lifestream Ministries, an urban, church-based child development programme in Quezon City, Philippines. She facilitated Children’s Cutting Edge, the children’s track of Asia Cutting Edge in 2004.

You can find links to a range of resources on child participation at: www.viva.org and an example of how Lifestream Ministries in the Philippines managed to engage children with the Convention on the Rights of the Child at www.viva.org

11


RESTORE

TOOLKIT

pursuing God’s standards for children

Materials

CONFIDENCE:

• Butcher paper • Crayons • Paints • 3D items (a variety such as cotton balls, leaves, etc.) that can be glued on • One small ball • Math worksheets • A child’s book • Puzzles • Cymbals & Horns, • Tape deck and tapes • Brown paper bag

My Uniqueness A group activity for 5-11 year olds

Wanda Parker The disciple will know that God had a unique plan for him/her when s/he was created by God.

Subjective :

The beginning of a sense of how special s/he is to God.

Scripture :

Jeremiah 1:5-8

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05

• Once each assignment has been given, have the groups separate from each other but stay in the same room so they can observe the others

TOOLKIT

Objective :

Issue 1

Verse :

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

• Have the children get into groups of no more than five

• Another group solves math problems. Have work sheets they are to do

• If you only have a few children, assign a different task to each child

• Another group reads a book. Have enough books that each participant has his/her own book to read

• Give each group of children a different assignment

• Another group works on a puzzle. Make sure it is age appropriate. Have several to choose from

• Have one group create a mural – provide butcher paper, crayons, paints, 3D items to be glued on

• Another group plays instruments or listens to music. Have cymbals, horns, tape deck and tapes

• Another group plays a game of catch. Provide one small ball

12

different. That’s why some of us like to play instruments while others would rather read a book. Our differences are what make each of us special. If everybody had wanted to play catch, it wouldn’t have been much fun. With only one ball, you would have been standing waiting for the ball to be thrown to you.

• Children must stick with the assignment that is given to them. They may not switch • Have them play/create for about 5 minutes and then allow them to switch to any activity they wish

God does ask us at times to do things that we are not naturally capable of doing. When He asks us to perform such a task, He will provide a way for us to develop ourselves in that area. We must be willing to step out where we aren’t comfortable in those times.

• You are having them switch so you can see what their natural inclinations are • This time only allow them to play/create for 2 minutes

Debriefing 1.

Did anyone not like the activity to which they were assigned?

2.

Why didn’t you like that activity?

3.

When we allowed each of you to do what you wanted, did everyone go to the same activity?

Now in small groups take the children into the Bible. Put Jeremiah 1:5-8 into a Reader’s Theatre. After the children have “performed” sit down and discuss what this passage means. Have them open their Bibles to the passage, even the young ones. Highlight that God knew each of us while we were still in our mother’s womb. He designed us with a plan/purpose in mind. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He not only knows us, He loves us.

It is highly unlikely that all would go to the same activity. But, if by chance they do, be ready to ask questions to make sure that is truly what they wanted to do. Suggestions: Did you go to that activity because everyone else went there? Did you go to that activity because you thought it would be the easiest thing to do? Everyone may go to play catch because it just seems easy and simple 4.

Wanda Parker, Founder And Executive Director, KidTrek Wanda has worked with children for 38 years in both secular and Christian settings. Wanda was part of an international team that developed a university curriculum for reaching at-risk kids. KidTrek is a reproducible, church-based ministry that empowers adult leaders to work innovatively with at-risk kids by helping each church establish its own KidTrek Center – a long-term, unique and wholistic approach for serving endangered children and youth. Visit their website: www. kidtrek.org for more information. 

Did anyone want to do an activity but they didn’t feel it would be right for them to go there? God has created each one of us. When He created us He made each one of us

13


RESTORE

TOOLKIT

pursuing God’s standards for children

Materials

CONFIDENCE:

• Butcher paper • Crayons • Paints • 3D items (a variety such as cotton balls, leaves, etc.) that can be glued on • One small ball • Math worksheets • A child’s book • Puzzles • Cymbals & Horns, • Tape deck and tapes • Brown paper bag

My Uniqueness A group activity for 5-11 year olds

Wanda Parker The disciple will know that God had a unique plan for him/her when s/he was created by God.

Subjective :

The beginning of a sense of how special s/he is to God.

Scripture :

Jeremiah 1:5-8

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05

• Once each assignment has been given, have the groups separate from each other but stay in the same room so they can observe the others

TOOLKIT

Objective :

Issue 1

Verse :

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

• Have the children get into groups of no more than five

• Another group solves math problems. Have work sheets they are to do

• If you only have a few children, assign a different task to each child

• Another group reads a book. Have enough books that each participant has his/her own book to read

• Give each group of children a different assignment

• Another group works on a puzzle. Make sure it is age appropriate. Have several to choose from

• Have one group create a mural – provide butcher paper, crayons, paints, 3D items to be glued on

• Another group plays instruments or listens to music. Have cymbals, horns, tape deck and tapes

• Another group plays a game of catch. Provide one small ball

12

different. That’s why some of us like to play instruments while others would rather read a book. Our differences are what make each of us special. If everybody had wanted to play catch, it wouldn’t have been much fun. With only one ball, you would have been standing waiting for the ball to be thrown to you.

• Children must stick with the assignment that is given to them. They may not switch • Have them play/create for about 5 minutes and then allow them to switch to any activity they wish

God does ask us at times to do things that we are not naturally capable of doing. When He asks us to perform such a task, He will provide a way for us to develop ourselves in that area. We must be willing to step out where we aren’t comfortable in those times.

• You are having them switch so you can see what their natural inclinations are • This time only allow them to play/create for 2 minutes

Debriefing 1.

Did anyone not like the activity to which they were assigned?

2.

Why didn’t you like that activity?

3.

When we allowed each of you to do what you wanted, did everyone go to the same activity?

Now in small groups take the children into the Bible. Put Jeremiah 1:5-8 into a Reader’s Theatre. After the children have “performed” sit down and discuss what this passage means. Have them open their Bibles to the passage, even the young ones. Highlight that God knew each of us while we were still in our mother’s womb. He designed us with a plan/purpose in mind. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He not only knows us, He loves us.

It is highly unlikely that all would go to the same activity. But, if by chance they do, be ready to ask questions to make sure that is truly what they wanted to do. Suggestions: Did you go to that activity because everyone else went there? Did you go to that activity because you thought it would be the easiest thing to do? Everyone may go to play catch because it just seems easy and simple 4.

Wanda Parker, Founder And Executive Director, KidTrek Wanda has worked with children for 38 years in both secular and Christian settings. Wanda was part of an international team that developed a university curriculum for reaching at-risk kids. KidTrek is a reproducible, church-based ministry that empowers adult leaders to work innovatively with at-risk kids by helping each church establish its own KidTrek Center – a long-term, unique and wholistic approach for serving endangered children and youth. Visit their website: www. kidtrek.org for more information. 

Did anyone want to do an activity but they didn’t feel it would be right for them to go there? God has created each one of us. When He created us He made each one of us

13


RESTORE

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

Revealing His Heart As shared by Pauline Wong, Karen Sam and others with the RESTORE team. Calvary Church, Malaysia is an Assemblies of God church.

http://www.calvary.org.my

Heart Club Plus: Parents are often the primary

• There is a time of interactive story-telling with themes drawn from the Bible. For example, by discovering how Joseph was bullied and rejected by his brothers, the children are able to see that they are not the only ones who aren’t accepted. As God took care of Joseph and stayed with him, He wouldn’t abandon them either.

care-givers to children with special needs. They often have no one helping them or supporting them. Calvary Church has started the Heart Club Plus as there are few support groups in Malaysia for parents of children with special needs. This is a self-help group comprising of parents and care-givers. Their primary focus is on themselves, their personal well-being. By strengthening themselves, they hope that their efforts in caring for their children will be sustained as part of a community that accompanies, shares and supports. By pooling their resources and sharing their experiences, they are better able to meet the needs of their children - and so ensure their children’s well-being.

• Answering questions that are asked through the story, they are encouraged to participate and are affirmed when they make their responses.

Children with special needs are often denied opportunities to “live in fullness.” They are often not accorded the dignity of being complete human beings, much less of being created in God’s image. Members of The Calvary Church, Kuala Lumpur, believe that it is the right of every child, even one with disabilities, to be given the opportunity to live with the dignity that God intended them to have. The Heart Club was started through the initiative of Pam Guneratnam, Karen Sam and Pauline Wong, to reveal God’s heart towards children with special needs. What motivates 30 volunteers to come and serve once a month is their belief that God loves every child, and children with disabilities need to be made aware that His affirming love is freely available to each one of them.

Heart Club Activities

• In 2004, eight of these special children produced a set of drawings which were made into Christmas cards. The sales of these cards raised USD4,000 towards the Children’s Home being built by the church! They saw that God can use them to reach out to others.

Children with special needs are often rejected by peers and, sadly, by adults in their families and communities. It is important that they are affirmed and that their self-esteem is restored. The Heart Club achieves this in many ways:

• 3 children were encouraged to participate in the Bill Ayers Art Exhibition for those with special needs and 2 of them received awards. One child, Tan Seng Kit, had his artwork sold for USD100.

Hear club children participating in drama workshop

The volunteers giving their time to make real the vision to the Heart Club are not trained experts; they are members of the church who want to reach out to these children. It isn’t an easy task for them. One person said that some of the children’s behaviors made it hard for them to continue, but once you see each child from God’s perspective you can love them and care for them despite their disruptive behavior. Even as they strive to do their best, they know that they have to allow God to work and have His way. They know that they are not there to have their expectations met but to allow each child to achieve the fullness in life they are created to have. And so the Heart Club reveals His Heart.

• Every child is assigned a volunteer with whom they develop a relationship. The volunteers stay with the children through the entire session, affirming them as they befriend them and work with them.

The Heart Club meets at the church premises on the third Saturday of every month. The children attending the club are from different socio-economic and religious backgrounds. Aged between 7 and 18, they are youngsters who have learning difficulties; some are slow learners, while others have severe disabilities. Parents are delighted to have others support them in their journey with these children. They have seen their children responding to volunteers who show them love and acceptance.

For consideration:

• These children have a time of interaction through the activities with other children who are like them. They realize they are not alone. • They have a planned program that includes activities such as singing, drawing, craft making and a time of story telling. While the schedule is generally maintained, different children have different areas of interest. So they are given opportunities to make choices and to do the activities they like.

The Heart Club is an opportunity for children to be told of God’s love and to provide them with aids and opportunities for participation in social and leisure activities and to have fun. The hope is that they will one day be able to integrate and live a life that God created for them in a community, in society.

Award-winning artwork by Heart Club Child

14

15

1.

Do we recognize children with special needs as being created in God’s image?

2.

What practical changes can we make in their living conditions to help them integrate?

3.

How can you let them know that God wants them to be treated with dignity and respect?

4.

How can you help their care-givers? 


RESTORE

Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

pursuing God’s standards for children

Revealing His Heart As shared by Pauline Wong, Karen Sam and others with the RESTORE team. Calvary Church, Malaysia is an Assemblies of God church.

http://www.calvary.org.my

Heart Club Plus: Parents are often the primary

• There is a time of interactive story-telling with themes drawn from the Bible. For example, by discovering how Joseph was bullied and rejected by his brothers, the children are able to see that they are not the only ones who aren’t accepted. As God took care of Joseph and stayed with him, He wouldn’t abandon them either.

care-givers to children with special needs. They often have no one helping them or supporting them. Calvary Church has started the Heart Club Plus as there are few support groups in Malaysia for parents of children with special needs. This is a self-help group comprising of parents and care-givers. Their primary focus is on themselves, their personal well-being. By strengthening themselves, they hope that their efforts in caring for their children will be sustained as part of a community that accompanies, shares and supports. By pooling their resources and sharing their experiences, they are better able to meet the needs of their children - and so ensure their children’s well-being.

• Answering questions that are asked through the story, they are encouraged to participate and are affirmed when they make their responses.

Children with special needs are often denied opportunities to “live in fullness.” They are often not accorded the dignity of being complete human beings, much less of being created in God’s image. Members of The Calvary Church, Kuala Lumpur, believe that it is the right of every child, even one with disabilities, to be given the opportunity to live with the dignity that God intended them to have. The Heart Club was started through the initiative of Pam Guneratnam, Karen Sam and Pauline Wong, to reveal God’s heart towards children with special needs. What motivates 30 volunteers to come and serve once a month is their belief that God loves every child, and children with disabilities need to be made aware that His affirming love is freely available to each one of them.

Heart Club Activities

• In 2004, eight of these special children produced a set of drawings which were made into Christmas cards. The sales of these cards raised USD4,000 towards the Children’s Home being built by the church! They saw that God can use them to reach out to others.

Children with special needs are often rejected by peers and, sadly, by adults in their families and communities. It is important that they are affirmed and that their self-esteem is restored. The Heart Club achieves this in many ways:

• 3 children were encouraged to participate in the Bill Ayers Art Exhibition for those with special needs and 2 of them received awards. One child, Tan Seng Kit, had his artwork sold for USD100.

Hear club children participating in drama workshop

The volunteers giving their time to make real the vision to the Heart Club are not trained experts; they are members of the church who want to reach out to these children. It isn’t an easy task for them. One person said that some of the children’s behaviors made it hard for them to continue, but once you see each child from God’s perspective you can love them and care for them despite their disruptive behavior. Even as they strive to do their best, they know that they have to allow God to work and have His way. They know that they are not there to have their expectations met but to allow each child to achieve the fullness in life they are created to have. And so the Heart Club reveals His Heart.

• Every child is assigned a volunteer with whom they develop a relationship. The volunteers stay with the children through the entire session, affirming them as they befriend them and work with them.

The Heart Club meets at the church premises on the third Saturday of every month. The children attending the club are from different socio-economic and religious backgrounds. Aged between 7 and 18, they are youngsters who have learning difficulties; some are slow learners, while others have severe disabilities. Parents are delighted to have others support them in their journey with these children. They have seen their children responding to volunteers who show them love and acceptance.

For consideration:

• These children have a time of interaction through the activities with other children who are like them. They realize they are not alone. • They have a planned program that includes activities such as singing, drawing, craft making and a time of story telling. While the schedule is generally maintained, different children have different areas of interest. So they are given opportunities to make choices and to do the activities they like.

The Heart Club is an opportunity for children to be told of God’s love and to provide them with aids and opportunities for participation in social and leisure activities and to have fun. The hope is that they will one day be able to integrate and live a life that God created for them in a community, in society.

Award-winning artwork by Heart Club Child

14

15

1.

Do we recognize children with special needs as being created in God’s image?

2.

What practical changes can we make in their living conditions to help them integrate?

3.

How can you let them know that God wants them to be treated with dignity and respect?

4.

How can you help their care-givers? 


RESTORE

TOOLKIT

pursuing God’s standards for children

Issue 1

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05 used, street children from many places have been able to identify with this model child. Crucially, the model child has not only had the same kind of experience, they have also experienced healing and restoration through the love and Word of God. As the children engage, identify, and connect with the “model child”, so they also engage with the prospect and hope of healing in their own lives.

Picture card to show ‘I feel guilt/shame’

The Big Green Bag of Pavement Project:

A Quest for Quality in Helping Children Gundelina A. Velazco

Pavement Project (PP) was originally a unit

feelings about what has happened in one’s life. It was, therefore, essential to understand this from street children themselves who would then actively participate in the development of the material. About fifty children in Brazil, India, Philippines, and South Africa were interviewed, asking questions such as:

within Scripture Gift Mission (SGM) and is now a partnership between SGM and Viva Network, which co-ordinates the training that is an essential part of PP. PP aims to restore the lives of children on the streets by sharing the gospel with them in a way that promotes healing where it is needed in their lives. To do this, PP publishes illustrated cards contained within a Big Green Bag that can enhance street children’s selfworth. This article looks at the principles used in developing these materials, since these can be applied to other areas, as well as highlighting the work of PP itself.

-

What crucial events happened to these children on the streets? How did they feel about what happened to them? What did they associate themselves with as a measure of their self-worth?

The Green Bag process – key principles

Thinking behind the Pavement Project PP works by helping a child to gain a better understanding of how God values him/her. As they see their precious worth in the eyes of a significant other (God, no less), children are encouraged to see their own worth in a new light. This enhanced self-worth leads to positive behaviour change in many aspects of their lives, since behaviour is an implementation of selfworth. By helping children value themselves, we can help them in other aspects of their lives.

• The research Rather than asking workers about what children might need, think, or feel, nor working from previous notions, PP went to the children in their natural setting to query them about their own needs, thoughts and feelings. Their responses were systematically analysed.

• The illustrations

Developing the Green Bag materials

The children’s answers were translated into illustrated materials that can help children and street workers communicate with each other.

The first step was to analyse the concept of selfworth and come up with a framework that would guide the research. Self-worth is the value one attaches to oneself based on thoughts and

16

Picture card from a Bible story “Let the children come to me”

• The training The workers are trained to develop sensitivity to children’s natures; to develop rapport with the street child verbally and non-verbally. The child’s participation, sharing and consent are a major aspect of the PP process and, hence, emphasized in the training of workers. It is in the context of a therapeutic relationship between the worker and the child that the Word of God is delivered.

The picture cards illustrate: -

-

Events that have happened to the children such as family separation, running away or being abandoned The children’s feelings such as fear, guilt/ shame or embarrassment Associations that children make with themselves such as a dog, storm, clouds The quality of the illustrations stimulates different psychological processes and a gradual surfacing of the child’s feelings. Getting in touch with painful feelings is an important step towards being set free from such feelings and the behaviour that goes with them. The process so far – the associations, the “What happened?” and “Feeling” cards – all bring to the front of the child’s consciousness those things that are keeping him/her in psycho-spiritual bondage.

• The relevance of the Biblical message Once the child has focussed on their feelings and the events that have led to them, the focus shifts to stories from the Bible that Jesus taught, which are relevant to the child’s situation. The process of restoring the child’s self-worth continues. The picture cards that tell the Bible stories are colourful and show lots of people and actions. The children are stimulated to emerge from their inward focus and once again participate in what is going on in the cards. Each set of story cards ends with an emphasis on how much Jesus loves and values children. The child’s involvement deepens. The chosen story speaks to their heart because this is their own story of pain and struggle. They are the lost, frightened sheep, the prodigal child, the fearful child in the midst of a storm. The story ends happily. There is hope that they, too, could be happy.

• The technique of modelling The PP process uses modelling by a fictional child who has had the same experiences. This technique works well with children, because they are imitative. The images in the cards are blurred and the child is ambiguous in terms of gender, age (to a certain extent), nationality, and emotional expression. This ambiguity is deliberate in order to allow for a great variety of interpretations and projections. When

Children move from the disturbing and unsettling process of inward reflection, to

17


RESTORE

TOOLKIT

pursuing God’s standards for children

Issue 1

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05 used, street children from many places have been able to identify with this model child. Crucially, the model child has not only had the same kind of experience, they have also experienced healing and restoration through the love and Word of God. As the children engage, identify, and connect with the “model child”, so they also engage with the prospect and hope of healing in their own lives.

Picture card to show ‘I feel guilt/shame’

The Big Green Bag of Pavement Project:

A Quest for Quality in Helping Children Gundelina A. Velazco

Pavement Project (PP) was originally a unit

feelings about what has happened in one’s life. It was, therefore, essential to understand this from street children themselves who would then actively participate in the development of the material. About fifty children in Brazil, India, Philippines, and South Africa were interviewed, asking questions such as:

within Scripture Gift Mission (SGM) and is now a partnership between SGM and Viva Network, which co-ordinates the training that is an essential part of PP. PP aims to restore the lives of children on the streets by sharing the gospel with them in a way that promotes healing where it is needed in their lives. To do this, PP publishes illustrated cards contained within a Big Green Bag that can enhance street children’s selfworth. This article looks at the principles used in developing these materials, since these can be applied to other areas, as well as highlighting the work of PP itself.

-

What crucial events happened to these children on the streets? How did they feel about what happened to them? What did they associate themselves with as a measure of their self-worth?

The Green Bag process – key principles

Thinking behind the Pavement Project PP works by helping a child to gain a better understanding of how God values him/her. As they see their precious worth in the eyes of a significant other (God, no less), children are encouraged to see their own worth in a new light. This enhanced self-worth leads to positive behaviour change in many aspects of their lives, since behaviour is an implementation of selfworth. By helping children value themselves, we can help them in other aspects of their lives.

• The research Rather than asking workers about what children might need, think, or feel, nor working from previous notions, PP went to the children in their natural setting to query them about their own needs, thoughts and feelings. Their responses were systematically analysed.

• The illustrations

Developing the Green Bag materials

The children’s answers were translated into illustrated materials that can help children and street workers communicate with each other.

The first step was to analyse the concept of selfworth and come up with a framework that would guide the research. Self-worth is the value one attaches to oneself based on thoughts and

16

Picture card from a Bible story “Let the children come to me”

• The training The workers are trained to develop sensitivity to children’s natures; to develop rapport with the street child verbally and non-verbally. The child’s participation, sharing and consent are a major aspect of the PP process and, hence, emphasized in the training of workers. It is in the context of a therapeutic relationship between the worker and the child that the Word of God is delivered.

The picture cards illustrate: -

-

Events that have happened to the children such as family separation, running away or being abandoned The children’s feelings such as fear, guilt/ shame or embarrassment Associations that children make with themselves such as a dog, storm, clouds The quality of the illustrations stimulates different psychological processes and a gradual surfacing of the child’s feelings. Getting in touch with painful feelings is an important step towards being set free from such feelings and the behaviour that goes with them. The process so far – the associations, the “What happened?” and “Feeling” cards – all bring to the front of the child’s consciousness those things that are keeping him/her in psycho-spiritual bondage.

• The relevance of the Biblical message Once the child has focussed on their feelings and the events that have led to them, the focus shifts to stories from the Bible that Jesus taught, which are relevant to the child’s situation. The process of restoring the child’s self-worth continues. The picture cards that tell the Bible stories are colourful and show lots of people and actions. The children are stimulated to emerge from their inward focus and once again participate in what is going on in the cards. Each set of story cards ends with an emphasis on how much Jesus loves and values children. The child’s involvement deepens. The chosen story speaks to their heart because this is their own story of pain and struggle. They are the lost, frightened sheep, the prodigal child, the fearful child in the midst of a storm. The story ends happily. There is hope that they, too, could be happy.

• The technique of modelling The PP process uses modelling by a fictional child who has had the same experiences. This technique works well with children, because they are imitative. The images in the cards are blurred and the child is ambiguous in terms of gender, age (to a certain extent), nationality, and emotional expression. This ambiguity is deliberate in order to allow for a great variety of interpretations and projections. When

Children move from the disturbing and unsettling process of inward reflection, to

17


RESTORE pursuing God’s standards for children

TOOLKIT

Changes in the child’s feelings and thoughts related to the traumatic experiences that had brought them to the street, as well as their behaviour, are also evaluated. Evaluation is also made through street workers’ testimonies of how their work and lives were changed upon witnessing the changes that they helped produce in the child through the Green Bag.

positive statements and resolutions like, “I want to change my life”, or “I want to be like the children that Jesus called.”

• The evaluation Systematic evaluation is an important aspect of the Green Bag process. PP evaluation has so far served the dual purpose of showing how the Green Bag specifically affects the workers and the child, at different stages, and then encouraging concerned people by what is shown.

Issue 1

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05

Travel Pack for the Refugee Child on the Highway Cherilyn Orr

• Long-term effects Impact evaluation is done to find out the longterm effects of the Green Bag on children’s lives.

• Performance evaluation Workers are observed through a one-way mirror or television as they demonstrate the use of the Bag with actual children, in order to determine their mastery of the process and help them wherever necessary. During this time the workers also begin to see how children react to the Green Bag; they become encouraged and determined to use the bag with many more children.

Children’s lives have been changed in amazing ways. A previously depressed child is now suddenly joyful. A teenager who was about to take his own life, out of hopelessness and despair, has found hope and jubilation that his life is precious to God, after all. Some have found their talent in singing and dancing and are now singing and dancing in praise. Some of them teach other children about God’s love. Adults who witness these changes are themselves transformed. It’s a whole new beginning for thousands of children - and their families - all over the world.

• Immediate effects Before and after the Green Bag process, the children are asked what they compare themselves to. The change in comparison is one of the indicators of change of selfworth.

Dr. Gundelina Velazco is the Filipino psychologist and educator who led the development of the Big Green Bag of Pavement Project and formulated the training that goes with it. She started the training in six countries in four continents, and those she has trained have been training others. A university professor and international training consultant since 1990, Dr. Velazco is now Program Director for Aftercare and Prevention of Justice for Children International, a USbased NGO working for the restoration of exploited and trafficked children. 

Before the process, children might compare themselves to traumatised human beings (e.g. fearful child), inferior objects (e.g. useless clothing), or animals with negative connotations (e.g. dirty dog). Afterwards, their responses would include more positive associations with human beings (e.g. a new baby), nature (e.g. a tree with leaves and fruit), and feelings (e.g. happy and loved).

More information about Pavement Project can be found on their website: www.pavementproject.org You can contact PP by e-mailing:pp@sgm.org Tel: 020 7730 2155 Fax: 020 7730 0240 Address: Pavement Project, 3 Eccleston Street, London SW1W 9LZ For information about Pavement Project training you can contact Chrissie Wilkinson: cwilkinson@viva.org or at the Viva Network UK address on the back cover of this issue.

18

Our aim is to re-establish When I travelled the their sense of value and world with my three small dignity. We want to be children they all valued able to offer them some their backpacks, which Of more than 19 million refugees, measure of comfort went everywhere with asylum seekers and others during their journey and them. Filled with their of concern to UNHCR in 2004, to show them that people favourite blanket, teddy, some 9 million were below the care. and toy, their backpacks age of 18, nearly 2.5 million under 5. provided them with a So it was in Athens that sense of security and UNHCR (2005) 2004 Global Refugee Trends I realized: each refugee identity whether on the child needed a backpack airplane, in new cultures of their own. Once the or in different peoples’ idea was conceived, we faced the challenge of homes. Each item in their backpack reflected the uniqueness of that child and these few funding this project. In Greece we had a large processions were a tangible reminder of who they international community as well as the Greek were. I began to think how much more the refugee community. We began to educate people about the problem, our solution and need for their children need security and objects of identity. help. As groups or individuals, they could put My journey into understanding the needs of together a “Backpack for a Refugee Child”; a refugee children began at the Athens Refugee similar concept to the Christmas Shoe box idea. Center in Greece. The Center aims to reach We visited schools, scout groups, churches and children and their families as they travel the contacted large corporations such as Mattel, refugee highway. Athens is transit location for who donated backpacks, and Colgate, who people from the Middle East and Africa who are donated toothpaste. We were amazed at the seeking to navigate the treacherous political outpouring of love and concern. It was a very tangible way in which people could make a landscape on their way into Europe. concrete difference in a child’s life. Refugee children arrive in Athens having left all of their possessions behind when they were forced As I learned more about children who had to flee their homes. They have often been through experienced trauma, I settled on three items as the tremendous trauma of war, imprisonment, essential components of each backpack. Other loss of normal joys and innocence of childhood items were added depending on the donations and/or the death of a significant family member. received.

Did you know?

19


RESTORE pursuing God’s standards for children

TOOLKIT

Changes in the child’s feelings and thoughts related to the traumatic experiences that had brought them to the street, as well as their behaviour, are also evaluated. Evaluation is also made through street workers’ testimonies of how their work and lives were changed upon witnessing the changes that they helped produce in the child through the Green Bag.

positive statements and resolutions like, “I want to change my life”, or “I want to be like the children that Jesus called.”

• The evaluation Systematic evaluation is an important aspect of the Green Bag process. PP evaluation has so far served the dual purpose of showing how the Green Bag specifically affects the workers and the child, at different stages, and then encouraging concerned people by what is shown.

Issue 1

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05

Travel Pack for the Refugee Child on the Highway Cherilyn Orr

• Long-term effects Impact evaluation is done to find out the longterm effects of the Green Bag on children’s lives.

• Performance evaluation Workers are observed through a one-way mirror or television as they demonstrate the use of the Bag with actual children, in order to determine their mastery of the process and help them wherever necessary. During this time the workers also begin to see how children react to the Green Bag; they become encouraged and determined to use the bag with many more children.

Children’s lives have been changed in amazing ways. A previously depressed child is now suddenly joyful. A teenager who was about to take his own life, out of hopelessness and despair, has found hope and jubilation that his life is precious to God, after all. Some have found their talent in singing and dancing and are now singing and dancing in praise. Some of them teach other children about God’s love. Adults who witness these changes are themselves transformed. It’s a whole new beginning for thousands of children - and their families - all over the world.

• Immediate effects Before and after the Green Bag process, the children are asked what they compare themselves to. The change in comparison is one of the indicators of change of selfworth.

Dr. Gundelina Velazco is the Filipino psychologist and educator who led the development of the Big Green Bag of Pavement Project and formulated the training that goes with it. She started the training in six countries in four continents, and those she has trained have been training others. A university professor and international training consultant since 1990, Dr. Velazco is now Program Director for Aftercare and Prevention of Justice for Children International, a USbased NGO working for the restoration of exploited and trafficked children. 

Before the process, children might compare themselves to traumatised human beings (e.g. fearful child), inferior objects (e.g. useless clothing), or animals with negative connotations (e.g. dirty dog). Afterwards, their responses would include more positive associations with human beings (e.g. a new baby), nature (e.g. a tree with leaves and fruit), and feelings (e.g. happy and loved).

More information about Pavement Project can be found on their website: www.pavementproject.org You can contact PP by e-mailing:pp@sgm.org Tel: 020 7730 2155 Fax: 020 7730 0240 Address: Pavement Project, 3 Eccleston Street, London SW1W 9LZ For information about Pavement Project training you can contact Chrissie Wilkinson: cwilkinson@viva.org or at the Viva Network UK address on the back cover of this issue.

18

Our aim is to re-establish When I travelled the their sense of value and world with my three small dignity. We want to be children they all valued able to offer them some their backpacks, which Of more than 19 million refugees, measure of comfort went everywhere with asylum seekers and others during their journey and them. Filled with their of concern to UNHCR in 2004, to show them that people favourite blanket, teddy, some 9 million were below the care. and toy, their backpacks age of 18, nearly 2.5 million under 5. provided them with a So it was in Athens that sense of security and UNHCR (2005) 2004 Global Refugee Trends I realized: each refugee identity whether on the child needed a backpack airplane, in new cultures of their own. Once the or in different peoples’ idea was conceived, we faced the challenge of homes. Each item in their backpack reflected the uniqueness of that child and these few funding this project. In Greece we had a large processions were a tangible reminder of who they international community as well as the Greek were. I began to think how much more the refugee community. We began to educate people about the problem, our solution and need for their children need security and objects of identity. help. As groups or individuals, they could put My journey into understanding the needs of together a “Backpack for a Refugee Child”; a refugee children began at the Athens Refugee similar concept to the Christmas Shoe box idea. Center in Greece. The Center aims to reach We visited schools, scout groups, churches and children and their families as they travel the contacted large corporations such as Mattel, refugee highway. Athens is transit location for who donated backpacks, and Colgate, who people from the Middle East and Africa who are donated toothpaste. We were amazed at the seeking to navigate the treacherous political outpouring of love and concern. It was a very tangible way in which people could make a landscape on their way into Europe. concrete difference in a child’s life. Refugee children arrive in Athens having left all of their possessions behind when they were forced As I learned more about children who had to flee their homes. They have often been through experienced trauma, I settled on three items as the tremendous trauma of war, imprisonment, essential components of each backpack. Other loss of normal joys and innocence of childhood items were added depending on the donations and/or the death of a significant family member. received.

Did you know?

19


RESTORE pursuing God’s standards for children

TOOLKIT

Backpack Essentials 1.

Stuffed animals – These provide comfort for the children.

3.

Art Supplies - Markers and paper provide an outlet for expressing emotions. Even if there is no other person to talk to, the paper is a place for their own thoughts to be articulated.

4.

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05

Words: building up or knocking down?

Flashlight – Most of the children do not have electricity where they live. Many experience fear, loneliness and the night terrors of post-traumatic stress. Having light in the dark when they can not ignore their fears provides a sense of security and safety.

2.

Issue 1

“The tongue also is a fire.” James 3:6.

A

mong the daily pressure of meeting children’s basic needs, are we also taking time to think about the words we use with each child, with our coworkers and other professionals, children’s peers and families, and donors or supporters?

Second, words are how a child builds her selfimage. Do we tell her she is a ‘disabled child’? If, on the other hand, we refer to her as a child with a disability, will she then be able to see herself first and foremost as a child, with a disability as one aspect of her identity, along with her ready smile and her tuneful singing? Children are constantly refining and redefining their own selfidentity. Of course, all people are, but children are especially open to the inputs of others. Our words are a key source of information for that process.

Considering the words that we use to refer to children is important for two reasons:

The first year, with 250 backpacks to fill, we spent a lot of time sorting donations and labelling backpacks for appropriate age and gender distribution. Subsequently, we kept the items fairly generic to reduce the workload. Presently, we are focused on giving refugee children backpacks at the Christmas dinner program and to those children who attend the refugee summer camp. Our long term goal is to provide each child with a backpack when they first arrive in Greece. We hope that, as they journey along the refugee highway, they can hold on to a sense of their uniqueness and their individuality, knowing that someone cared for them.

Optional Additions: • Toothbrush and toothpaste (A paediatrician who examined the children said that the worst health problem was dental decay.) • Fleece blanket • Warm hat and mitts • Small toys (skipping rope, matchbox cars, small doll) • Bible story tract or colouring book • Exercise books (so they can be ready to start school anywhere)

Cherilyn Orr has spent 20 years of ministry with children in various countries, including inner city children, street children, learning disabled and refugee children. Currently Cherilyn is involved in teaching Bible College course on Children at Risk also providing training for short term teams working with Children in Crisis. 

After Christmas dinner we handed each child a backpack. The children were so excited as they proudly displayed their new backpacks, or took a teddy out to hold. The backpacks gave them a sense of value as persons, and the contents met some of their physical and emotional needs.

REFUGEE HIGHWAY PARTNERSHIP: A Network of the World Evangelical Alliance www.refugeehighway.net/resources/CD/index.htm

20

1.

Our words are the window to our attitudes and so easily restrict the potential we see for any one individual.

2.

The words that we use to refer to a child become fixed on the child until they become part of that child’s identity.

Elaine de Villiers and Ian de Villiers

If we refer to Lin and Esme as ‘AIDS victims’, will they see themselves primarily as helpless victims, rather than individuals with all their uniqueness and capacity for development?

First, think about words as the window to our attitudes. If we always refer to Asma as ‘the disabled child’, does that tell her that she is seen as fundamentally flawed? It communicates that, at the centre of her being, there is a problem. And this makes it hard for you, an adult in Asma’s life, to see her as ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14).

In our staff discussions, do we refer to Danny as a ‘problem child’, or can we refocus on him as a child who has a problem with one particular type of behaviour? Seen this way, we are freed to help Danny develop all his potential, and the difficult behaviour becomes one aspect of his identity, alongside his resilience, his sense of humour, his readiness to challenge unfairness.

Attitudes are contagious. Does Asma become known to all as ‘the disabled child’ within the group? Does this make her disability her defining characteristic to other staff, to children and parents? When her disability becomes her defining characteristic, we pre-judge what she can do, and are unlikely to be surprised by her abilities. Psalm 149:3 says ‘Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.’ Would Asma be first on your list when making a dance troupe? But I have watched children with disabilities perform the most beautiful and touching dances to the Lord.

Words, self-image, and children’s resilience In order for children to develop as psychologically healthy individuals, they need to have a strong sense of self-worth. This is doubly true for children at risk or in need. For them to feel good about themselves, they need to know we value them for their individual identities. Edith Grotberg studied this with children under 12 in 22 countries. She showed that a strong sense of identity is vital to the human capacity to face, overcome, and even be strengthened by experiences of adversity (ie, ‘resilience’). Our

21


RESTORE pursuing God’s standards for children

TOOLKIT

Backpack Essentials 1.

Stuffed animals – These provide comfort for the children.

3.

Art Supplies - Markers and paper provide an outlet for expressing emotions. Even if there is no other person to talk to, the paper is a place for their own thoughts to be articulated.

4.

TOOLKIT

Sept ʻ05

Words: building up or knocking down?

Flashlight – Most of the children do not have electricity where they live. Many experience fear, loneliness and the night terrors of post-traumatic stress. Having light in the dark when they can not ignore their fears provides a sense of security and safety.

2.

Issue 1

“The tongue also is a fire.” James 3:6.

A

mong the daily pressure of meeting children’s basic needs, are we also taking time to think about the words we use with each child, with our coworkers and other professionals, children’s peers and families, and donors or supporters?

Second, words are how a child builds her selfimage. Do we tell her she is a ‘disabled child’? If, on the other hand, we refer to her as a child with a disability, will she then be able to see herself first and foremost as a child, with a disability as one aspect of her identity, along with her ready smile and her tuneful singing? Children are constantly refining and redefining their own selfidentity. Of course, all people are, but children are especially open to the inputs of others. Our words are a key source of information for that process.

Considering the words that we use to refer to children is important for two reasons:

The first year, with 250 backpacks to fill, we spent a lot of time sorting donations and labelling backpacks for appropriate age and gender distribution. Subsequently, we kept the items fairly generic to reduce the workload. Presently, we are focused on giving refugee children backpacks at the Christmas dinner program and to those children who attend the refugee summer camp. Our long term goal is to provide each child with a backpack when they first arrive in Greece. We hope that, as they journey along the refugee highway, they can hold on to a sense of their uniqueness and their individuality, knowing that someone cared for them.

Optional Additions: • Toothbrush and toothpaste (A paediatrician who examined the children said that the worst health problem was dental decay.) • Fleece blanket • Warm hat and mitts • Small toys (skipping rope, matchbox cars, small doll) • Bible story tract or colouring book • Exercise books (so they can be ready to start school anywhere)

Cherilyn Orr has spent 20 years of ministry with children in various countries, including inner city children, street children, learning disabled and refugee children. Currently Cherilyn is involved in teaching Bible College course on Children at Risk also providing training for short term teams working with Children in Crisis. 

After Christmas dinner we handed each child a backpack. The children were so excited as they proudly displayed their new backpacks, or took a teddy out to hold. The backpacks gave them a sense of value as persons, and the contents met some of their physical and emotional needs.

REFUGEE HIGHWAY PARTNERSHIP: A Network of the World Evangelical Alliance www.refugeehighway.net/resources/CD/index.htm

20

1.

Our words are the window to our attitudes and so easily restrict the potential we see for any one individual.

2.

The words that we use to refer to a child become fixed on the child until they become part of that child’s identity.

Elaine de Villiers and Ian de Villiers

If we refer to Lin and Esme as ‘AIDS victims’, will they see themselves primarily as helpless victims, rather than individuals with all their uniqueness and capacity for development?

First, think about words as the window to our attitudes. If we always refer to Asma as ‘the disabled child’, does that tell her that she is seen as fundamentally flawed? It communicates that, at the centre of her being, there is a problem. And this makes it hard for you, an adult in Asma’s life, to see her as ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14).

In our staff discussions, do we refer to Danny as a ‘problem child’, or can we refocus on him as a child who has a problem with one particular type of behaviour? Seen this way, we are freed to help Danny develop all his potential, and the difficult behaviour becomes one aspect of his identity, alongside his resilience, his sense of humour, his readiness to challenge unfairness.

Attitudes are contagious. Does Asma become known to all as ‘the disabled child’ within the group? Does this make her disability her defining characteristic to other staff, to children and parents? When her disability becomes her defining characteristic, we pre-judge what she can do, and are unlikely to be surprised by her abilities. Psalm 149:3 says ‘Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.’ Would Asma be first on your list when making a dance troupe? But I have watched children with disabilities perform the most beautiful and touching dances to the Lord.

Words, self-image, and children’s resilience In order for children to develop as psychologically healthy individuals, they need to have a strong sense of self-worth. This is doubly true for children at risk or in need. For them to feel good about themselves, they need to know we value them for their individual identities. Edith Grotberg studied this with children under 12 in 22 countries. She showed that a strong sense of identity is vital to the human capacity to face, overcome, and even be strengthened by experiences of adversity (ie, ‘resilience’). Our

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words are critical in building children’s ability to face current and future difficulty. Grotberg says:

TOOLKIT

Children are not robots to be programmed by our language. But our language is rich in relationship and value, and has a value in development rarely recognized. Changing our words won’t change everything, but it can give children much needed strength for the future and encouragement in beginning to see themselves as ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.

‘I am’ factors are the fundamental key [to resilience]. They involve identity and are influenced by messages received by the young child – affirmation and acceptance, for instance, or indifference and rejection. We may help children towards reclaiming their identity by affirming their unique value as ‘wonderfully made’, gently assisting them to hear and to receive good messages about themselves.” (Grotberg, cited by Barnard et al, 1999).

Elaine de Villiers is an adoption social worker based in the UK working in policy development, child placement and family support. Ian de Villiers is a social worker serving with Viva Network. 

Use this simple table to think about how your language and labelling might help or hinder a strong and healthy sense of identity in children you work with: Child’s Name Label Danny Esma Asma

Asma Esme Danny

Message = staff attitude Likely outcome = identity/behaviour NEGATIVE MESSAGES Problem child You are a problem to us I am not wanted here AIDS victim You are associated with I have no future; I am dirty death and taboos Disabled child I can’t do what I am not worth what anybody else is; everybody else can I need not try.

Girl with lovely voice Hard-working student Creative child

POSITIVE MESSAGES You bring pleasure I enjoy my own ability and further to others want to bring pleasure to others You can keep going I can do things; I am not a victim of circumstance You have good ideas I will use my ideas and energy here because it feels good

SPACE TO CONSIDER YOUR CHILDREN Child’s Name Label

Message = staff attitude Likely outcome = identity/behaviour

Reference: ‘Grotberg’s Model’ (1995) in Children, Bereavement and Trauma by Barnard P, Morland I, and Nagy J (1999), Tyne and Wear, UK, Athenaeum Press.

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A final thought... Does our response-ability matter Paulus Samuel

But then I am reminded of how Jesus responded when the disciples obstructed the children from approaching him. Jesus was spontaneous and very personal in his response (which is why we can call him our personal Saviour). He recognized the unique value of each child as a person and ensured they were treated with dignity. When responding to people’s needs, Jesus left the power of choice to the concerned individual. He always asked them what it was they wanted him to do for them. I wonder how we can see the children around us as being created by God with dignity and rediscover our ability to respond personally – how our professionalism can go hand in hand with a personal touch.

As the waves of the Tsunami recede and the spread of HIV in Asia continues, we hear the news of the July 7th London blast – another stark reminder of the nature of the world we live in. In the midst of all this, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are increasingly seen as the avenues of hope for development. Local NGOs’ roles are better recognized and respected in this era of multi-national corporations and international NGOs. Professional governance is the norm of the day and programme delivery is the talk of the hour. A more transparent and accountable programme makes us feel more comfortable and confident when responding to an issue.

I believe that this is the time for us to go back to our roots of personal touch, personal relationships, and personal responses to the person at risk. Only then do we see them as unique creations of God. Would Valli have preferred a personal touch from the teacher or a professional response such as the referral to an orphanage? With millions of children at risk around the globe, and billions of dollars being spent towards changing the lives of children like Valli, I wonder how we can be personally available to all these millions of children? Is it a possibility at all?

As I write this, I remember Valli, a little eight year old girl who was beaten up by her own aunt in front of the entire school for having shared her food with her cousin (the aunt’s daughter). The reason for the attack was the HIV positive status of Valli’s mother who passed away recently. The teacher understood the problem and recommended Valli to an orphanage. The problem of discrimination and child abuse is taken care of and Valli is not at risk anymore (the teacher thought).

I firmly believe that if every caregiver understands the power of the relational model of Jesus and recognizes the dignity of each child it will only be a matter of time before these vulnerable children experience the much needed personal touch. Thanks to the timely intervention of a local NGO, Valli is now back at home, attending the same school and is of course, a favourite with her teacher. Yes, our ‘response-ability’ did matter to Valli. Can this become a reality for every child at risk? I sure do pray and hope so...I sure do.

In the past, caring and being concerned about the needy and poor was seen as being everybody’s responsibility (response-ability). Over the years it has somehow become the NGOs’ responsibility. We have learnt to respond to needy situations more professionally through institutions and restrained our ability to respond to such situations personally. These days, the very way the individual in need experiences the helper has changed and vice versa. Service has become more fact oriented than feelings related. Feelings are considered inappropriate and unprofessional. Situations and people are seen through the lens of facts and figures.

Paulus Samuel is the director of the Centre for Aids Rehab and Education (CARE) Madurai. CARE facilitates churches develop their own prayer, motivation and programmes to serve families affected by AIDS. 

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RESTORE pursuing God’s standards for children

words are critical in building children’s ability to face current and future difficulty. Grotberg says:

TOOLKIT

Children are not robots to be programmed by our language. But our language is rich in relationship and value, and has a value in development rarely recognized. Changing our words won’t change everything, but it can give children much needed strength for the future and encouragement in beginning to see themselves as ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.

‘I am’ factors are the fundamental key [to resilience]. They involve identity and are influenced by messages received by the young child – affirmation and acceptance, for instance, or indifference and rejection. We may help children towards reclaiming their identity by affirming their unique value as ‘wonderfully made’, gently assisting them to hear and to receive good messages about themselves.” (Grotberg, cited by Barnard et al, 1999).

Elaine de Villiers is an adoption social worker based in the UK working in policy development, child placement and family support. Ian de Villiers is a social worker serving with Viva Network. 

Use this simple table to think about how your language and labelling might help or hinder a strong and healthy sense of identity in children you work with: Child’s Name Label Danny Esma Asma

Asma Esme Danny

Message = staff attitude Likely outcome = identity/behaviour NEGATIVE MESSAGES Problem child You are a problem to us I am not wanted here AIDS victim You are associated with I have no future; I am dirty death and taboos Disabled child I can’t do what I am not worth what anybody else is; everybody else can I need not try.

Girl with lovely voice Hard-working student Creative child

POSITIVE MESSAGES You bring pleasure I enjoy my own ability and further to others want to bring pleasure to others You can keep going I can do things; I am not a victim of circumstance You have good ideas I will use my ideas and energy here because it feels good

SPACE TO CONSIDER YOUR CHILDREN Child’s Name Label

Message = staff attitude Likely outcome = identity/behaviour

Reference: ‘Grotberg’s Model’ (1995) in Children, Bereavement and Trauma by Barnard P, Morland I, and Nagy J (1999), Tyne and Wear, UK, Athenaeum Press.

22

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Issue 1

Sept ʻ05

??

A final thought... Does our response-ability matter Paulus Samuel

But then I am reminded of how Jesus responded when the disciples obstructed the children from approaching him. Jesus was spontaneous and very personal in his response (which is why we can call him our personal Saviour). He recognized the unique value of each child as a person and ensured they were treated with dignity. When responding to people’s needs, Jesus left the power of choice to the concerned individual. He always asked them what it was they wanted him to do for them. I wonder how we can see the children around us as being created by God with dignity and rediscover our ability to respond personally – how our professionalism can go hand in hand with a personal touch.

As the waves of the Tsunami recede and the spread of HIV in Asia continues, we hear the news of the July 7th London blast – another stark reminder of the nature of the world we live in. In the midst of all this, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are increasingly seen as the avenues of hope for development. Local NGOs’ roles are better recognized and respected in this era of multi-national corporations and international NGOs. Professional governance is the norm of the day and programme delivery is the talk of the hour. A more transparent and accountable programme makes us feel more comfortable and confident when responding to an issue.

I believe that this is the time for us to go back to our roots of personal touch, personal relationships, and personal responses to the person at risk. Only then do we see them as unique creations of God. Would Valli have preferred a personal touch from the teacher or a professional response such as the referral to an orphanage? With millions of children at risk around the globe, and billions of dollars being spent towards changing the lives of children like Valli, I wonder how we can be personally available to all these millions of children? Is it a possibility at all?

As I write this, I remember Valli, a little eight year old girl who was beaten up by her own aunt in front of the entire school for having shared her food with her cousin (the aunt’s daughter). The reason for the attack was the HIV positive status of Valli’s mother who passed away recently. The teacher understood the problem and recommended Valli to an orphanage. The problem of discrimination and child abuse is taken care of and Valli is not at risk anymore (the teacher thought).

I firmly believe that if every caregiver understands the power of the relational model of Jesus and recognizes the dignity of each child it will only be a matter of time before these vulnerable children experience the much needed personal touch. Thanks to the timely intervention of a local NGO, Valli is now back at home, attending the same school and is of course, a favourite with her teacher. Yes, our ‘response-ability’ did matter to Valli. Can this become a reality for every child at risk? I sure do pray and hope so...I sure do.

In the past, caring and being concerned about the needy and poor was seen as being everybody’s responsibility (response-ability). Over the years it has somehow become the NGOs’ responsibility. We have learnt to respond to needy situations more professionally through institutions and restrained our ability to respond to such situations personally. These days, the very way the individual in need experiences the helper has changed and vice versa. Service has become more fact oriented than feelings related. Feelings are considered inappropriate and unprofessional. Situations and people are seen through the lens of facts and figures.

Paulus Samuel is the director of the Centre for Aids Rehab and Education (CARE) Madurai. CARE facilitates churches develop their own prayer, motivation and programmes to serve families affected by AIDS. 

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pursuing God’s standards for children

Useful Websites For information and ideas

newsletter for individuals as well as organizations devoted to children at risk. While promoting children’s rights as detailed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the CRIN website allows you to access all resources either by theme or by region. Themes include children in armed conflict and child sexual exploitation to children in relation to macroeconomics and establishing a rights-based project. Users can also sign up to receive a bi-weekly email of news and current events on child rights.

Tearfund International Learning Zone http://tilz.info Tearfund International Learning Zone, the resource component of Tearfund UK, is entirely dedicated to resources, publications, and research. You can search for documents on specific topics, such as child development, capacity development, church and development, impact assessment, and HIV/ AIDS. Policy and research reports on everything from water and sanitation to the 2000 Millennium Goals are also available. In addition, TILZ provides practical information including articles and case studies concerning strategies for working with children at risk.

Children Webmag www.childrenwebmag.com An Online magazine for child activists and practioners, Webmag is created by a consortium initiated by the Centre for Children and Youth, University College, Northampton, UK. The magazine contains regular columns and recent book reviews, as well as news from around the world of child-care. In addition to the journal contents, users can access helpful information including statistics, recommended reading, and legal information. You can also retrieve previous articles and former magazine issues.

www.child-rights.org World Vision International The resources website for World Vision International, provides reports, publications, and news for child rights, peace and conflict, and global economics. A valuable website for child activists, child-rights.org contains the latest articles and reports concerning children’s rights, including child participation, as well as practical ideas and methods for maintaining children’s rights in your own projects and programmes.

Human Rights Internet www.hri.ca/children/ A website created to “educate, empower, and equip”, the Human Rights Internet website provides informative resources on HRI’s own Child Rights Division as well as publications, reports, and documents pertaining to a variety of children at risk issues. Youth are also encouraged to access the website for fun and interactive ways of accessing information about child right, current events, and forums for discussion.

Children’s Rights Information Network www.crin.org The Children’s Right Information Network website has comprehensive reports, publications, research, current news and upcoming events, and a tri-annual

Viva Network: Working together to bring more children better care

International Centre PO Box 633, Oxford, UK, OX2 0XZ t: +44(0)1865 320100 f: +44(0)1865 320101 email:info@viva.org Website: www.viva.org

Regional Centres Asia

Latin America

Africa

Europe

Viva Network Asia Centre Berhad, PO Box 13230, GPO, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Perseketuan, 50804 Malaysia t: +60 3 905 84154 f: +60 3 905 84057 website: www.asia.viva.org

Red Viva de América Latina, PO Box 120, Y Griega - 1011, San Jose, Costa Rica t: +506 387 2531 website: www.redviva.org

Viva Network Africa, PO Box 14003, Kampala, Uganda t: +256 41 270056 Website: www.africa.viva.org

Viva Network Europe, PO Box 633, Oxford, UK, OX2 0XZ t: +44(0)1865 320100 f: +44(0)1865 320101 Website: www.viva.org

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