A little while ago my counterpart Kasela and I were invited to attend a 3-day workshop on Helping Grieving Children at Fountain of Hope. It was a really interesting course and we learnt a lot about the different kinds of grief that the kids we encounter in the Lubuto Libraries may be suffering from, as well as how to recognize the stages of grief and how to help a child in each stage. One of the things that struck me was how important the Lubuto programmes are in helping children to come to terms with difficult times in their lives.
This was reinforced a few days later, when we staged the first performance of the latest LubutoDrama programme – the play of “A Test for Becoming a Chief.” No sooner had I arrived at work in the morning than I was literally bowled over by a young man running towards me shouting “Drama! Drama!” because he was so excited about his part in the play! The kids worked so hard at rehearsing for the performance and when their costumes were revealed, their eyes lit up as they realized that this was a real piece of theatre that they were going to be involved in! The performance itself was astounding. The actors put their hearts into their performance and the audience was really encouraging. Even though most of it was in the vernacular language, I was still able to understand what was going on and join in with the laughter. It was especially nice for me to see some of the boys and girls who I know have had particular problems, taking part in the play and gaining confidence and support from the audience’s reaction.
Afterwards, one of the boys who had a small part in the play took me by the hand and brought me to the large map of the world which we have on display in the Reading Room. He said to me “Can you see the world, Auntie Nikki? I feel so strong today that I think I could lift all of it in my hands.”