Two weeks ago I left Ethiopia after six months and returned to Manchester. I’d taken a sabbatical to be part of a VSO and UNICEF project working with teachers and students.
Ethiopia is a country with around 100 million people, 3 million of whom are Internally Displaced People (IDPs) due to drought and ethnic violence. With unstable and stressful living conditions, IDPs experience many challenges, not least, poor mental well-being.
My team and I worked provided training on psychosocial skills, trauma-informed-care and child-friendly methodologies, hoping that primary teachers would be ideally placed to support young people develop their resilience and appropriate coping strategies.
The experience was incredible. It was at times immensely challenging, occasionally fraught with potential security issues but ultimately rewarding and life-enhancing. I firmly believe that there was genuine collaboration and skill sharing and I left feeling proud of the work that had been achieved.
I am, however, very happy to be back, despite the rain and cold….Manchester is home and I’m so pleased to be back at MCoS surrounded by familiar, smiling faces. I’m really looking forward to working with you all again!