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Over the last twelve months, the Hikayati programme has been written, developed, peer-reviewed and signed-off. The programme has had input from our team and our external consultants, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the CEO of an award winning children’s personal development charity.
We have also recently piloted some of the Hikayati workshops in Najaf to groups of orphaned children from Al-Ayn. These are some of the same children that will benefit from the Hikayati centre when it opens, and so their feedback and opinion about the programme was very important.
On the first day, a group of 24 boys aged 8 to 14 took part in a ‘Teamwork and Collaboration’ workshop. By building towers from paper, undertaking lego challenges and playing group games such as ‘Human knots’ and ‘Tug of War’, they were able to reflect on many aspects of what makes a successful team. They developed useful life-skills such as planning, working collaboratively and growth mindset thinking.
On the second day, a group of 24 girls took part in an ‘Emotional intelligence and coping skills’ workshop. They reflected on a range of emotions using an emotions wheel, learned about drama therapy techniques, practiced mindfulness and relaxation techniques, and took part in a group reflection and bonding exercise. The girls were introduced to important concepts such as emotional literacy, how to manage difficult emotions and who to speak to when you are in trouble or distress. The girls found the workshops very stimulating and a few of them turned out to be experts in the field. Look out for more on our social media!
The pilots were a success and have confirmed the importance of the Hikayati project and how essential life-skills are for children, especially orphaned children. Watch out for more updates about Hikayati as the year progresses.
Dr Amina Al-Yassin
Hikayati Programme Manager