Cooperation with Fundacion Amanecer
ICDP Colombia carried out a sensitization project in partnership with Fundación Amanecer, near La Tebaida, Quindío, Colombia.
The project targeted parents of children who attend the after school programme run by the Amanecer foundation. The project was launched by the mayor in August 2018 and was carried out in the period between August and December. Due to positive results, a follow up is being considered.
For Spanish speakers, follow this link to see a video from this project which was placed on YouTube:
Summary of project observations:
One of the important aspects of the training was that the caregivers discovered the importance of sharing their experiences with their companions in a free and easy way, and this allowed them to get to know each other better and to develop a high degree of trust and harmony, as well as being involved in sharing a lot of fun together - while at the same time they were able to participate actively in all aspects of the ICDP process. The trainer contributed to the warm and close atmosphere and the objectives of the programme were easily achieved as a result.
Playful exercises and games, as well as plenty of humour helped create an environment of trust, friendship, harmony, respect and empathy among the whole group. The exercise on the ‘inner child’, followed by many reflections, songs, as well as references from research and theories, raised the participants awareness and brought to surface their own feelings and sensitivity, expressing many emotions, stopping to reflect on their own lives and their families. They reflected on their child-rearing patterns, analysing both the positive and negative aspects. Sensitivity, reflection and self-esteem increased in the participants, and they recognized their own value, strength and skills for the upbringing of their children.
Many participants remembered negative aspects experienced in their own childhood, and also reflected on the negative aspects in their present relationships not only with their children but also with their close relatives – after reflecting on these they chose to seek better ways of dealing with themselves and their family.
Reliving happy moments and stories from past situations with their children reactivated some of the positive forms and aspects of communication.
The caregivers said they had discovered new and subtler aspects through self-observation and self-assessments of their own interaction with their children in daily situations. This made them more aware of the value of their daily interactions with their children as opportunities for closeness that can lead to developing reciprocal understanding and joy in their daily lives.
Another important realization made by the participants was that they became more attentive to the feelings and emotions of their children, making an effort to interpret their children’s wishes and desires with more patience and responding to them positively, all of which lead to better communication and listening to each other’s’ opinions. They said that they felt they had developed confidence in their role as caregivers of their children and understood how important the process of guiding and supporting their learning is, in addition to providing emotional security.
Caregivers managed to discover that there are new and better ways of correcting their children, that screaming and abuse are not effective in this process; that their children will respect them more if they can be firmer, giving clear rules depending on the children’s age, without using any form of abuse.
For some participants it was occasionally difficult to meet due to their jobs and other urgent situations that arose, but they never lost their interest in participating. A few caregivers had to bring their children to the meetings because they did not have anyone to leave them with at home. At times, children participated in role plays. However, the ideal solution would be to find a person that can organize some activities for the children that come with their parents to ICDP meetings.
Some of the home assignments related to the ICDP booklet “I am a person” involved the participants’ children. For example, the children participated and discussed with their parents to what extent their parents applied the 8 guidelines for good interaction and helped their parents make the interaction profile – it was interesting to see how children helped their own parents find out which of the guidelines they should pay more attention to practice more. This experience was very positive both for parents and their children and developed a positive attitude in both.
The participants appreciated receiving ICDP certificates at the end of the course as a recognition of their effort, perseverance and willingness to be better caregivers of their children.
Comment from ICDP trainer, Blanca Cecilia Garcia:
“It was a very interesting and rewarding process in many ways for me personally as a facilitator of the methodology, I feel there were many other things to share and discuss, but time did not allow it. The course was a very satisfying experience and participants’ maintained very good disposition throughout; they felt free to express their feelings, sometimes there were tears and other times many smiles; it was good to see changes reflected in their faces and hear them talk about adopting new and different attitudes that will serve them much in their lives, in their families and will surely have some effect even on their communities.”