HONOLULU — Kids Hurt Too Hawaii continues to expand its efforts to help children struggling with the loss of a parent.
Grief-stricken children in orphanages across Japan are the latest example of the nonprofit organization’s international reach.
Adults who experienced life in Japan’s social welfare system are benefiting in a big way from a two-day training session organized by Kids Hurt Too Hawaii, which helped them learn skills for engaging young people in conversations about their struggles.
At least one participant expressed appreciation for the training, which was characterized as helping him understand how his own experience could be helpful in the work he does with other youth.
“Our counseling and mentoring programs in Japan are intended to help traumatized children abroad draw strength from peers and relatives in their efforts to overcome sadness and feelings of isolation,” said Cynthia White, executive director of Kids Hurt Too Hawaii.
HONOLULU — Kids Hurt Too Hawaii has set its sights on training social workers across the state in helping grief-stricken children cope with the loss of a parent.
The two-hour training session starts Jan. 18, when social workers will be able to learn a full range of skills centered on grief and trauma, including helping them understand how children grieve as well as identifying the signs of suicide.
The training from Kids Hurt Too Hawaii comes amid a new state law that makes at least 15 hours of such training a condition for getting their license renewed.
“We look forward to the opportunity to help improve the ability for traumatized children to get the professional support they need to move beyond their pain,” said Cynthia White, executive director of Kids Hurt Too Hawaii.
HONOLULU — For Lara Blum, it has been nearly three years since the death of her two sons’ father.
But the Manoa resident said that trying to cope with his loss doesn’t get any easier for her sons Nolan, age 16, and Devon, age 11, especially around this time of year.
“It’s much harder this time of year,” said Blum, who turned to Kids Hurt Too Hawaii for grief support about a month after the tragic death in March 2011 of her children’s father.
“There are constant reminders of not having their father,” Blum said. “If it weren’t for Kids Hurt Too Hawaii, it would have taken a lot longer for my older son to get through his anger. Kids Hurt Too Hawaii has allowed them to get out of their particular dilemma and be with other kids who are like themselves.”
Blum’s two sons are among the more than 250 grieving children, between ages 3 and 19, who every year in Hawaii turn to Kids Hurt Too Hawaii for a safe space to express feelings about their loss of a parent to such factors as a death, divorce, or incarceration.
HONOLULU — If Nicole Cruz knew then what she knows now about her two children’s pain from her decision to leave their abusive father, she would have turned to Kids Hurt Too Hawaii a long time ago.
The 37-year-old meal clerk for a charter school credits the non-profit organization for the ability of her adolescent son – Zeph, age 11, and daughter – Kanani, age 8 – to move beyond the pain of losing their father over a violent temper that landed him in and out of jail as well as permanently out of their mother’s life.
“Kids Hurt Too Hawaii has been like another parent to my children,” said Cruz, who has benefited from the organization’s support since Feb. 2009. “My children get asked all the time, ‘where’s your dad?’ They are told, ‘I never see your dad.’ With help from Kids Hurt Too Hawaii, they have been able to answer those questions. Kids Hurt Too Hawaii has made them feel like they are not alone. It has helped them work through their feelings and has made it easier for them to talk about their feelings.”
Zeph and Kanani are among the more than 250 grieving children, between ages 3 and 19, that every year turn to Kids Hurt Too Hawaii for a safe space to express feelings about their loss of a parent to such factors as a divorce, death or incarceration.
HONOLULU — For a glimpse of the effect of Kids Hurt Too Hawaii on grief-stricken children, look no further than a peer-support group that meets monthly at the Kukui Center near downtown Honolulu.
About 19 kids, who lost a parent to death, divorce, or incarceration, gathered for up to two hours to share memories of Thanksgiving Day together with their families.
The kids, between ages 3 and 12, also took turns talking about what they are thankful for as part of ongoing efforts by Kids Hurt Too Hawaii to help children, struggling with sadness and feelings of isolation, draw strength from their peers.
“Our hope is that our support can enhance a family’s ability to see a sad and despondent child smile again,” said Cynthia White, executive director of Kids Hurt Too Hawaii.
HONOLULU — In the latest example of its efforts to restore hope to grief-stricken children, Kids Hurt Too Hawaii continues to take steps to help a group of former foster youth focus on goals.
The nine youth in the group met for their weekly meeting led by Seymour Kazimirski, a Kids Hurt Too Hawaii volunteer, who brings expertise in a full range of professional experiences.
Kazimirski led the youth, between ages 17 and 26, in a group discussion centered on identifying and reaching goals imp source.
Kazimirski is among Kids Hurt Too Hawaii’s dozens of volunteers who are enthusiastic about the organization’s mission and demonstrate their excitement by willingly devoting time and energy toward helping it reach its goals.
“I am so grateful that life has been so good to me that I want to help others in making life good for them,” Kazimirski said.
HONOLULU — An estimated 50 doctors, nurses and social workers are expected to benefit from a presentation led by the top executive at Kids Hurt Too Hawaii and meant to help children with seriously-ill parents.
They walked way from the presentation by Cynthia White, executive director of Kids Hurt Too Hawaii, feeling better equipped to help children when their parents are seriously ill.
White’s hour-long presentation was arranged by the St. Francis Healthcare Systems of Hawaii, which tapped expertise at Kids Hurt Too Hawaii for help with its efforts to better support young children of patients who are seriously ill or fragile.
“I answered questions and talked for about an hour,” White said. “One social worker who attended walked me to my car afterward to tell me that she benefited greatly from my presentation.”
Kids Hurt Too Hawaii will be in Japan from November 21-December 4, 2013, assisting with children tsunami victims support groups, conducting training, and continuing to assist victims with understanding and managing trauma and grief.
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