“I have woken up from my nightmares” says former child soldier Kasimi after learning the tapping technique.
There are moments in life that leaves these extra strong images in the mind. Some painful – others beautiful or enjoyable. I will tell about one of those beautiful ones…
The story is from Bukavu in DR Congo. The capital of South Kivu. One of the mineral rich and therefore conflict prone areas in the world. Where greed and guns tear lives, families and communities apart.
Since four years back I have been coming to a center for rehabilitation of former child soldiers in Bukavu. It is called BVES and is managed by Namegabe Murhabazi, a true hero of children´s rights. He rightly so he did win the World´s Children´s Prize 2011. (worldschildrensprize.org/murhabazinamegabe)
I have done trainings in TTT with the staff of BVES. And murhabazi is one of those people who have really understood the value of this technique. This last time we had another two day workshop. And then practicing with the kids at the center. That is the most enjoyable part of this work: teaching TTT to those who really need it and see the change.
This was one of those best practices. A room full of 30 boys fro the age of 11 to 18. All former child soldiers. All somewhat expressing uneasiness by being laud, talkative, coming and going, laughing nervously or like Kasimi : being from time to time completely shut off. Staring in front of him out into something that nobody else sees. But he feels and sees it very clearly. Very painful to see. But still he would participate in the training.
After one round of doing the tapping together most of them have got the sequence. Kids learn fast even when traumatized. And the atmosphere changes. Things get calmer. Voices lower. Movement less. Smiles and comments. “This is good…”
Kasimi comes to me after we finished. Asks me to tap him. Just there in the meeting room while people move and talk. He sits down and before I start he says: You know, sometimes I am just not here. You can see that I look at you, but I don´t see you. It is like living in a dream of horror. I see those memories of the time when I was in the bush”. I tap him. He receives and gets calm. He says “Thank you” and leaves.
Two days later when I am on my way in the bves car passing through downtown – I hear somebody calling out my name: “Gunilla!!!!” I turn towards the voice and I see Kasimi dressed in working clothes outside a mechanic workshop. He waves to me with a great smile. I get hilariously happy to see him smiling like that. We stop the car. Kasimi comes running up to us.
“Habari gani” I ask – “How are you?”
“I have woken up from those dreams” he says hastily. “I am present now. Even in school I can follow and I sleep without nightmares!”
That is for me one of those most beautiful moments of life.