I started the day by meeting the director and vice director of the Young Forest. He told me that many children who stay at the Young Forest come from different types of homes, some that include violence between parent and child, alcoholism, kids that can’t or don’t want to go to school due to their circumstances and drug abuse. If a child comes to the Young Forest and has a drug or alcohol problem they are put into a rehabilitation center first.
All children who stay at this home must attend school while living here. The children are allowed to live here until the age of 25. In the building I stay at, there are around 30 children living here, and 6-7 staff who take care of the children per each story of the building.
After the kids came home from school and had down time and a snack I started my workshop. I started by introducing myself and then began an introductory exercise with all of the children. Each child got into groups of two and for two minutes they had to introduce themselves. Not just their name and age, but what gave them joy and happiness, what thing they liked doing that brought them joy and happiness and lastly who in their life brought them joy and happiness. After the two minutes were up, they would switch roles.
After each pair introduced themselves to each other, every pair then had to introduce their partner to the rest of the group and vice versa. It was such a better and easier way to get to know all of the kids and what things make them happy. It was interesting to hear that many of the kids, even though living together, all learned something new about another person today.
I spoke to them about the importance of listening and communicating and really getting to know each other on a deeper level. It was great to hear that almost all children commented that the people who bring them joy and happiness in life is “family”, which many considered to be the other children living here with them and the people who work here.
Today was a great start in getting to know the children and a good introduction into the further workshops I will hold with them this week!
Lööf Foundation Representative