One Woman’s Resilience Story

moriahThis is Moriah.
Moriah is the CEO and founder of HaShamayim Hem HaGvul – (an NGO called “The Sky is the Limit”). Her NGO is dedicated to raising the self esteem, education level and sense of efficacy for at-risk youth in order to break the cycle of poverty. They operate programming in Jerusalem’s green line border neighborhoods of Pisgat Zeev, Neve Yaakov, Har Homa, Gilo and Armon HaNatziv.
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This is Moriah’s resilience story.
The current unstable and frightening security situation, which is in consistent decline, hits us close to home since our program participants live in the borderline neighborhoods where the terror attacks are concentrated.

Both our staff and our youth members were shaken. We felt we needed professional, practical tools in order to help each other, our staff and our youth members cope with the pressure, anxiety, fear and consistent exposure to trauma. Most of our youth coordination staff is not only quite young but also not originally from Jerusalem, and therefore inexperienced in trauma reaction, management and resilience. They’ve never before faced day to day terror and a constant feeling of uncertainty.

Given our young staff, we determined that they wouldn’t respond to a traditional lecture and would benefit exponentially more from hands-on education. ITC delivered interactive sessions and bought to light practical tools to identify signs of stress and trauma in both the staff and the youth members. We learned how to deal with and manage our fear.

They began with a demonstration of a stressful situation, followed by an analysis of it, its symptoms and how to identify them, and then provided tools to cope with those symptoms. They introduced the notion that that we are not alone in our anxiety – rather there is someone who understands what we are facing and feeling. The professional trauma experts gave us guidance that was both meaningful and effective.

As staff members, we are dealing with a “double problem” – how to cope individually, as men and women who live in Jerusalem and face the situation every day, in addition to the challenge of how to help those for whom we are responsible.

After the workshop, I felt empowered. I was able to recognize a staff member who was afraid. She was able to recognize a trainee who was insecure, and we both felt that we now know what to say, thanks to what we learned from the ITC experts.

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