NorthWood Child Abuse Prevention Team Hanoi, November 2015December 8, 2015
A Fort Worth, Texas area social worker named Kurt led a team to hold workshops and a conference in Hanoi to provide information on child abuse prevention, dealing with trauma, and family legacy concepts that help build strong families. Sharing his own stories as a child growing up in an abusive environment, Kurt was able to connect with students, teachers and parents on a deeper level. On their first day the team explained the foundations of a strong family to the students, teachers and parents at Ban Mai School. One of the highlights was when Kelly, who worked as a nurse, talked about different love languages. Children and adults alike shared their own love language and how they want to be loved. The team were very impressed by the student’s English skills and confidence.
Taylor, who is a firefighter and paramedic, talked about the very difficult subject of trauma and allowed everyone to share some of their personal experiences. While uncomfortable to talk about, this part of the workshop offered a safe environment for healing and peace. One student from Ban Mai went home after the workshop and talked to her mother, whose relationship with her had been hard. Kurt and his team were beyond happy when they heard that this mother – daughter relationship has improved drastically thanks to their workshop.
For the next two days, the team of three worked with the Social Service Department of the Hanoi National University. The future social work students were very engaged in the topics being discussed. For some, this workshop was a chance to make peace with their own past; for others, it was a learning experience about how to raise a strong family. Hang, a senior social work major explained: “Prior to this workshop, I’ve always thought I’d become a mom who makes enough money for my kids. But after today, I realized that it’s not just about the money or the job, or social status, but the love and emotional connections that will create and maintain family relationships”.
As for the team - Kurt, Kelly and Taylor- all agreed that they received far more from the trip than what they had given Vietnam. Kurt said, “Since I’ve come to Vietnam, I have learned to love people better”.