Monday, September 13, 2010

Group work

When you were 14 years old did you want to answer questions in class? How about share your most secret feelings with all of your class mates... No? Try Khmer counseling. Well, otherwise translated to me as a lesson in "talking abut yourself".

I arrived at the Children's centre thinking I would be seeing some sewing. No chance. Feelings were top of the agenda. Opening yourself up to the whole class of about 30 or so others. When I arrived the children were about half way through the session so I slipped in to watch. Their task was to talk abut 10 things that were listed on huge pieces of paper. Such as their feelings on: their family, sleep patterns, food, body, fears, future.... Not much really!!!

Like all good Khmer presentations each child gave their answers via a sound system and microphone! A fewwere laughing probably because they were afraid of crying as they spoke. Some of them cried -some of them sobbed about the way that they felt. Particularly about the abandonment of them by their family. There were a lot of red eyes in the audience as well as the speakers. Although it was in Khmer some of it was translated for me. It reminded me that despite the hard but seemingly happy exterior that many of the children have they do have deep rooted issues which remain with them as they strive for a better life at the Centre. A bit of therapy Khmer style.

2 comments:

Clive (@CliveSir) said...

Hi Michelle,
I am a long-term volunteer (almost 2yrs and counting), teaching computing mostly, and am considering coming to work in Cambodia next year. I would be really grateful if you could contact me to talk about what my options might be. Your insights would be invaluable to me since you have so much experience of Cambodia and of the issues, and might know where I could fit in.
Many thanks,
Clive
clivington321@gmail.com
(spam protected - remove the numbers please!)

Donna Kemp said...

Very moving Blog Michelle about the great work you and others are doing!
Sorry that sounds a bit teacherish but you know what I mean a sharp contrast to dressing up as a Cambodian Princess I guess that is what Cambodia is about - sharp, some times painful, contrasts... just thoughts...