This week has been interesting in many ways.
I ha the opportunity to follow a colleague to a children’s group home where i met a 16 year old girl who was living in this shelter due to troubles in her personal life and family. Children who are brought up in the foster care or shelter typically exhibit attachment problems because they fear trusting adults as they have been hurt and rejected and tossed around from one family to another many times before. This particular girl had showed behavioural improvements in the home and was now ready to be adopted.
I also attended a talk called young, black and incarcerated by a young man named Dominic. Dominic had his first same sex relationship when he was 17 years old and was kicked out by his family. Having no place to go, he moved into his then boyfriend’s house; a man who was experiencing severe depression and was suicidal. Dominic spoke about how that relationship led him to homelessness and he was finally incarcerated at the age of 18 for a series of poverty related crime. Being gay in a prison, Dominic was sexually abused on a regular basis. Dominic shared about the abuse that happens to children in prison and how poverty has effected his life .
I visited a few non-profit adoption agencies in Omaha and had the privilege of learning about their history, systems and challenges to long discussion and meetings with managers and people who worked on the ground. I also visited a drug rehabilitation facility that also catered for juveniles which was the first of its kind that i have seen. back in Malaysia, child drug users were a huge concern of mine as there are no child-friendly drug rehabilitation centres or methods. Most of the children living on the streets that i had worked with were also young drug users.
Lastly but not least, my host organisation has always been very lovely to take the time to show me around. I had requested to go for some drinks and music at a Jazz bar as i love Jazz. The band was great that night and the company was even better. Over the weekend, i went to the air and space museum, a beautiful glass church and a safari where i saw bisons who are endangered, elks, cranes, deers, ducks, wolfs, bears and many other animals that are native to Omaha. I was happy to see that the animals in the enclosure were well taken care of and most importantly, they had ample space to roam around and live as closely as possible to their natural habitat.
I’m looking forward to me week ahead!