Last Friday, three incredible Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS), Cara Smith, Eileen Esposito, and Hayley Wells, deployed to the Bahamas to work with children and families that have been affected by Hurricane Dorian. They have been busy making connections, assessing needs, and supporting children in shelters, clinics, orphanages, emergency rooms, and homes.
Eileen shared an interaction with a mother of an 8-year old boy.
The mother describes her son “waking up panic in the middle of the night saying ‘it’s coming in, the windows are breaking, I can’t protect you mama,’” The mother responds by explaining its a bad dream and that they are safe. The mother further explained to Eileen that they watched their windows break from the storm and they could not protect their family or their home from the windows crashing in, and that her son is traumatized.
Eileen concludes, “It is clear that there is a huge need here for comfort, normalization and expressive, imaginative play for kids to a) just be kids and b) process in a healthy and safe way all their feelings and the energy being pent up in their minds and bodies from what they’ve experienced and the sensory input they’ve received.”
The need is great and the work is plenty! We are still in need of general funding to support children impacted by disasters. Please join us in mitigating the effects of trauma and promoting resilience!