“What is the need you’re responding to?”
We need safe, healthy connections to function well and successfully navigate the world. However, very few people have the skills or are taught the skills that are necessary to support healthy connections. We are committed to supporting communities to develop the skills and help them understand the importance of connection. How we relate to each other and to feel we have value is a key to unlocking and using our unique gifts.
We believe that for people to actively participate in creating the life they want to lead, they need to feel and know their intrinsic value. When we feel we have value, it is easier to believe in ourselves and each other. We no longer need to fight to prove we are enough, and we can instead devote our time and energy to shining.
The project is built on the foundation, which states that we do better together, and safe and stable connections are key. Although our greater vision is to support children, parents and caregivers in the development of skills in many directions, we are now only focusing on the development of emotional wellness skills, with a focus on emotional safety by educating parents, caregivers, and community members on how to create secure attachments.
Our vision is to see healthy connections being developed to create stronger, safer, healthier, and supportive communities. We want to help people build resilience and the capacity to face life head-on.
Project Umusa has three facets:
- Upskilling and educating parents and caregivers
- Upskilling and educating children, and
- Supporting community emotional wellness and social skills.
We feel that it is not enough for children to have access to classes and activities with us. What they are learning and the skills they are developing need to be reinforced by the adults in their lives.
Therefore, we decided to cultivate the same skillsets in both adults and children. For example, in the orphanages we are working in, it would not be enough to simply work with the children. The caregivers need to be able to model the skills and behavior choices as well as be part of the children’s skill development.
By educating and upskilling caregivers, we create a vast network of caring and informed adults who can support the children in their circle of influence. By supporting caregivers to develop the tools and skills themselves, they can model and teach children to develop the same set of tools and skills. When the people in a child's life are modeling the behavior they would like to see, children naturally follow what they see.
Educating children develops social-emotional skills that are essential to leading and living a healthy and connected life. The relationship we have with ourselves and others impacts our quality of life. It is our goal to support children to develop the skills they need to successfully navigate all their relationships, with a primary focus on developing the skills for emotional wellness.
If we are going to disrupt trauma cycles and create connected communities, our work must extend into the communities which have been most affected by violence, poverty, and a lack of basic resources. We want to support children to be happy and healthy. Therefore, we need to support the communities in which they are raised to become healthy, strong, and connected.