From Michael ‘Eki’ Baskin, PhD, Project Director for the Ukraine Trauma-Resilience Project.
I wanted to send an update on our efforts to date since we stood up on March 27. The Ukraine Trauma-Resilience Project is a joint effort initiated by the BioDynamic Breath and Trauma Release Institute (BBTRI) and the Integral Body Institute (IBI). We just completed our thirteenth workshop supporting Ukrainian refugees in Warsaw on Saturday, May 21.
We have a number of ‘firsts’ over the last weeks that I would like to share with you:
We hosted our first Grandmother-Mother-Granddaughter trio in a workshop.
We conducted our first pilot Facilitator training, training an additional 10 Lead Facilitators and Assistant Facilitators, building on their existing BBTRS practitioner skills.
- We delivered our 3-hour grounding and resilience workshop onsite at the invitation of two different local community partners.
- We established our first sponsorship from a corporate partner, a Polish company that has chosen to support the project at 1,000 Zloty (216 Euro) per month through a donation to the Integral Body Institute Foundation (IBIF). Special recognition to Eliza Zielinska for establishing this partnership.
- We were invited by our first corporate partner to provide direct support to their Ukrainian, Polish and international staff.
As shared in the Acute Trauma MasterClass held on April 13, the mission of the Ukraine Trauma-Resilience Project is to:
1) Provide resilience and trauma-release tools to support Ukrainian refugees, aid workers, and supporters challenged by acute trauma, so that they can re-establish emotional and physical resources, expand their resilience, and improve their mental and psychosocial health.
2) Provide acute trauma special skills trainings (virtually and in-person) to enable BBTRS and other practitioners to support affected populations in their local area.
3) Strengthen Ukrainian community capacity by training Ukrainian practitioners in upcoming facilitator trainings and providing financial support to do so.
The crowdfunding campaign has been fundamental for enabling us to continue this work and allow this project to grow. Ukrainian refugees and aid workers are reporting immediate benefits after attending our workshops.
Moving forward we will continue to deliver our grounding and resilience workshop in Warsaw and begin to offer it to other parts of Poland. We would also like to plan a second Facilitator training to continue to spread this work across Europe and Ukraine. In addition, several Ukrainian practitioners are expected to attend the next BBTRS training in Kików, Poland beginning May 29, aligning with our mission statement to train Ukrainian practitioners. We are grateful for everything the community has contributed to enabling all of this work. The Polish team and community have made a significant contribution to this effort.
There are also some areas that we have learned quite a bit in. For example, we now recognize more clearly that we are working in a humanitarian response context in a very dynamic environment. Accordingly, we have begun to shift our approach from self-hosting our own workshops to coordinating workshops in partnership with community organizations that already provide services to the Ukrainian community.
We have also learned how to communicate more effectively with the Ukrainian and Polish communities. We have shifted our focus on the benefits of alleviating stress, anxiety, and other contraindications of health, instead of focusing solely on trauma.
To everyone that applied to volunteer, we are working on having more effective communication with you all on our efforts. If you would like to submit your information to the volunteer database and have not done so, you may do so here.
Finally, we sprinted in late March and April and learned the hard way that it was not the optimal approach. It is important for us to think longer-term about how we can contribute our abilities and efforts to the current situation in terms of months and even years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all of your efforts, time, and consideration to date.
With gratitude and respect,
Michael ‘Eki’ Baskin, PhD
Project Director, Ukraine Trauma-Resilience Project
BioDynamic Breath & Trauma Release Foundation and Integral Body Institute Foundation
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