Hey everyone! The backstory
On the 1st of August 2020, I am going to Durban, South Africa. I am going for four weeks to volunteer with Operation Bobbi Bear
, an organisation that supports children who have been victims of sexual abuse.
I am fundraising to cover the placement fees in order for me to take part in this Psychology programme
with Operation Bobbi Bear. It will cover costs for my training, accommodation and transport during my stay.What will I be doing?
Bobbi Bear uses colourful stuffed toy bears to break down language barriers as they are used by children telling the stories of their abuse. They also host clinics to treat and listen to those affected, provide care and support, offer therapy and safety to prevent continued abuse, and work with the authorities to make sure justice is served.
I will have the opportunity to:
◈ Go to emergency call-outs and support the Operation Bobbi Bear Child Safety Officers throughout the abuse cases that come in.
◈ Visit local police stations, hospitals and the High Court to assist with trauma recovery and support victims throughout the process.
◈ Be closely involved with the rescued children when they come to the rescue centre, and provide care.
◈ Shadow the Bobbi Bear staff and support where needed. I will give guidance, listen and learn about the different cultures and policies within them.
◈ Participate in lectures at rural schools to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse and sex education through the use of the ‘Edu-Toy’.
◈ Attend ‘The Tree’ clinic and help develop outreach programmes that bring rural communities together to share stores and empower women and children.What the support means to me
The impact of abuse on children is a topic I am extremely passionate about. I want to help protect, prevent and educate young vulnerable children at risk of sexual abuse. Also, I will be conducting research for my dissertation on the role of trauma affecting cognitive functions in bilinguals during my stay.
It would be an experience of a lifetime to learn how child victims of sexual abuse are supported in different cultures, and to truly explore how trauma impacts brain functioning and well-being in children.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any support will be greatly appreciated!