Giving and Receiving Love, Trust & Belonging with the Syrian Refugee Children

By Noraini Mahmood

Love, Trust, Belonging – three words that are so simple to theoretically learn and express yet much tougher to put in practice especially when in such dire situations of trauma of war & lost of homes and families. Our training in Original Play with Dr O. Fred Donaldson Ph.D. were put on different dimension when we embarked on this challenging, yet amazing journey. How do we work on playing with children who have lost so much to start trusting again. How do we become models of love and non-aggression, how do we reach out to the children to communicate to them that they belong. How do play with those who were already showing aggressive behaviors. How do we hold ourselves clear as not to get pulled into their sadness and traumatic experiences. It was indeed challenging for me despite having all the training in Original Play and Kinesiology. On the other hand, if we had thought we were there to only give, we were wrong indeed, because there’s also so much to learn from the capacity to love from these children.