DOCO: Sarah Rosborg and Constance Hall in Kenya in a still from the film Kings & Queens of Rafiki.
DOCO: Sarah Rosborg and Constance Hall in Kenya in a still from the film Kings & Queens of Rafiki. Aaron Rajamoney

Rafiki Mwema to hold powerful workshop

CN: discusses sexual assault, and violence

TRIGGER WARNING DESCRIPTION OF CHILD ABUSE

Rafiki Mwema are riding the crest of national media interest after scoring a spot on the Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, instagram account but the hard-working crew at Rafiki are not ones to relax and soak up the glory.

They have a new workshop on the Gold Coast next week.

The Building Attachments Training workshop will focus on improving understanding of the impact of adverse childhood experience and how to connect to children and young people who show complex, and often, difficult and challenging behaviours.

The program is facilitated by with Anne-Marie Tipper, director and founder of The Annex Project, Play Kenya and Rafiki Mwema and who is primarily based in Kenya and the Rafiki compound.

The Rafiki Mwema charity was set up with the fundraising efforts of Sarah Rosborg. Photo Contributed
The Rafiki Mwema charity was set up with the fundraising efforts of Sarah Rosborg. Photo Contributed Contributed

The Rafiki Mwema charity operates in Kenya. Photo Contributed
The Rafiki Mwema charity operates in Kenya. Photo Contributed Contributed
The Rafiki Mwema charity came from a
The Rafiki Mwema charity came from a "tidal wave of love, kindness and hope" from popular blogger Constance Hall and her Facebook community of "queens" who helped push the project forward in ways Sarah Rosborg could never have imagined. Photo Contributed Contributed

Ms Tipper will be bringing with her a young man Peter who has powerfully overcome the severe trauma of being on the streets of Kenya and gone on to study at Tante Marie in UK, and subsequently get offered a job as a chef at Sandhurst where the elite of the British Army go to train.

Ms Tipper said Peter continued to be her hero with the courage he has shown.

"Many, many years ago there was a young man who stole my heart," she said.

"He lived on the streets of Nakuru.

"He was fierce, he was angry, and he was alone.

"Over eight very long years Peter began to open up a tiny bit and showed a glimmer of the man he would become.

"Behind his anger was a heart that beat pure gold."

Co-founder Sarah Rosborg said that when the boys arrive at Rafiki Mwema they are raw, often violent, and fighting for survival.

"All our staff are therapeutically trained to use an approach known as PACE," she said.

"Without that and their therapeutic sessions, our boys would not survive. 

"Our supporters have given these boys an opportunity to have their brains reprogrammed through love and connection.

The Rafiki Mwema charity community is supported by fundraising efforts. Photo Contributed
The Rafiki Mwema charity community is supported by fundraising efforts. Photo Contributed Contributed

DONATIONS WANTED: Claire Harding (left) and Sarah Rosborg, from Lennox Head-based charity, Rafiki Mwema which supports Kenyan children who have suffered sexual abuse, are calling for donations of items for a fundraising online auction.
DONATIONS WANTED: Claire Harding (left) and Sarah Rosborg, from Lennox Head-based charity, Rafiki Mwema which supports Kenyan children who have suffered sexual abuse, are calling for donations of items for a fundraising online auction. Graham Broadhead

"At the course participants will have an amazing opportunity to see this training in action."

She said each day is a standalone training with a clear focus on the best understanding of what makes our trauma kids react in the way they do, and how best to support them and yourself.

Peter himself has described the trauma he went through and how he was tied upside down, covered in stinging nettles and beaten with blocks of wood.

"Their aim was to break my body and my spirit," he said.

"I shut my heart down and locked my head so they could not control all of me."

"I knew then that I could cope with anything.

"I had found a place in my head that no-one could reach."

"They beat me for hours and my body grew weaker and weaker.

"When they finally undid the ropes and I sank into a pile of blood and naked limbs I thought I had survived this battle, but they hadn't finished with me yet."

Sarah Rosborg said Peter would bring to life what it's like to survive extreme circumstances and would demonstrate how one's brain can be changed through connection, therapeutic parenting and love.

She said the model is based on the work of Dr. Daniel Hughes, Dr. Julie Hudson and Dr. Kim Golding and is embedded strongly in attachment theory.

The training workshop will also bring in the work of Pat Crittenden who has an attachment model (DMM) that supports Carers understanding the meaning behind the behaviours they demonstrate.

The Building Attachments Training workshop will take place at Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise August 19-21.

TICKET PRICES ARE $230 A DAY OR A DISCOUNTED PRICE OF $590 FOR ALL THREE DAYS

If this story brings up issues for you, there are people you can talk to. 1800 RESPECT deals with sexual assault. If you don't want to talk, you can access their website. You can also talk to Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or access their website.



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