The Dutch organization Buro Leerlingenhulp (BLH) is a collective of child psychologists who help children with special needs. Driven by an interest in Eastern cultures and a dream to expand their skills and knowledge they started a collaboration with the SOS Children’s Village in Galle, where they are creating programs with the groupworkers to help the children. An interview with Lizette; owner of BLH.
Asia and Sri Lanka
‘I travelled a lot in Asia and fell in love with Sri Lanka. The country, the mindset and the people stole my heart’. Lizette and her family searched for a place where they could spend their holiday and at the same time work the local community. They found a beautiful place in Southern Sri Lanka where they got involved in the renovation of a house. As an architect her husband started a project (https://vimeo.com/261259789) and Lizette offered her help wherever she could, but she didn’t feel like it was enough. As a child psychologist she has an interest for children with special needs. ‘That was where I wanted to help’.
Back in the Netherlands Lizette started sharing her stories, dreams and ambitions with colleagues. ‘The East and the West, we can learn so much from each other! It would be great if we could combine ourskills and knowledge to help each other and grow and learn together.
For the 15th anniversary of BLH Lizette decided that she wanted to do something unique. She and her colleagues wanted to broaden their horizons and see how they could work together with other countries in creating opportunities for children with special needs.
SOS Children’s Village
Lizette her ideas led to actions and she decided to contact the SOS Children’s Village in Galle. Orphans and children who, for various reasons, cannot live with their parents, are offered shelter in these family homes. They are raised by specialized groupworkers and the group is seen as a family. ‘I asked if they would be interested in collaborating with the child psychologists of BLH. Last summer I went to visit the Children’s Village in Galle and it was a beautiful experience. We believe that both the Dutch and the Sri Lankan team can contribute in helping the children building up their self-esteem, dealing with stigma around mental health, offering psychological support for traumatized children, developing ways to treat learning- and behaviouralproblems and educate young adults to find their place in society, by cooperating and sharing their knowledge.
Specialists from BLH are now travelling to Sri Lanka. They work together with the groupworkers in the best interest of the children. ‘We are proud that the SOS Children’s Village in Galle gave the BLH-team the opportunity to exchange skills and knowledge with the groupworkers, so we can both benefit from learning about the cultural differences and similarities’. BLH believes that every child, with or without special needs, should be able to grow up in a safe environment and should have the opportunity to discover their potential and develop their talents. It all starts with the children!
Are you a professional working in child care? Do you work in Sri Lanka and do you know everything about the culture? Would you like to work with Dutch child psychologists?
We are deeply interested in learning from each other and in meeting people who can guide us through the Sri Lankan field of mental health care and child psychology, sharing knowledge and learning with and from each other!
Are you just as excited as we are and would you like to contribute? Then please consider making a donation.
Lizette Scheer, firstname.lastname@example.org