Reality in this beauty-filled place is exhilarating and can be so overwhelming one needs to shout. A catharsis brought about by awareness of the here and now.
This whole landscape is a therapy room.
The Round Home and its surroundings are designed to be mentally stimulating and therapeutic. That is, they invite self-reflection and processing. The whole landscape is one big therapy room where the materials are already found in nature, but arranged in such a way as to evoke meaningful representations of self-concept, feelings, and states of mind. It is also a place where the girls can be trained to be sensitive to what nature could be teaching them personally.
One girl said, “I choose this plant to represent myself, because like me, it is beautiful. When I leave, people here will remember me because of this plant.”
Another girl said, “I am the grass. Whatever typhoon comes, even though you step on it again and again, it rises again and again. It doesn’t fall. Big trees may fall and die while the grass keeps rising, like me.”
Another girl said, “I am like the hard stone because my dream cannot be destroyed. I am like the tall tree because I dream high.”
The Round Home is round—physically and figuratively.
There are no sharp edges in the behavior of staff, even while they enforce discipline. This is where firmness and gentleness converge. Because of the physical configuration and layout of the Round Home, where the rooms are arranged in a circle, every girl has equal access to the center of care. No one feels left out. As a result, everyone has equal high degree of self confidence and self worth.
Survivor care is a science. It is also an art, where our mission could find fulfillment in creative ways.
In the physical laboratory, the attributes of elements and compounds are discovered and brought out using physical and chemical means. In the Round Home, we consciously engage in discovering the true attributes of each individual and bringing them out through loving attention, encouragement, and affirmation. Therefore, within the concept and implementation of survivor care, there is the science and art of Susan, the science and art of Nini, the science and art of every girl as we closely study, discover, and nurture the girl in ways that would speak to the girl’s heart.
In addition to the mentioned interventions to make the child feel understood, appreciated, and loved, there is another intervention I found could also contribute to profound recovery.
The delicate and powerful work of survivor care can only be sustained with your help.
Watch Dr. Gundelina Velazco share about Love146’s approach to after care:
This post is the second part of a series of three posts from our Director of Asia Survivor Care describing the model and philosophy behind Love146’s safe home in the Philippines. Read Part I to learn about how we help children heal by focusing their awareness on the here and now.