We know our service is needed because we can see its real-life benefits on the children we work with. The following case study, written by one of our past volunteers, illustrates how our service directly impacts the children we support:
We started working with Soran* in December 2018 at the accommodation centre where he was staying. When we first met Soran, it was clear he was struggling with emotional regulation and getting on with other children. Soran really struggled to communicate and make eye contact. He was unable to focus and often lashed out physically when he got frustrated or upset. He would never participate in group games and often seemed completely dissociated from his surroundings. It was incredibly rare to see him smile and when he did it appeared to be more of a grimace. Over three months of working with Soran we witnessed a gradual but noticeable change in his behaviour. He slowly began to engage with our volunteers and participate in one on one games. After some time, he then started to take part in circle games and activities with other children. He found activities that he really enjoyed doing, especially playdough, Connect 4 (with his own set of rules) and playing running games. Towards the end of our time with Soran, he had begun to speak to us, in both Kurdish and English. We realised he had made such great progress when he began to smile.
Though his transformation is one of the most notable we have seen, his story is not unusual. He is the perfect example of how the opportunity to play in a safe environment is what children need to process their experiences and build resilience against ongoing trauma.
*name has been changed to protect the identity of the child