A Connection to Home for Refugee Students

by | Apr 2, 2023 | FEATURED STORIES

The classroom buzzes as the young students examine the bright, new posters hung on the walls. Their curiosity piqued, they notice the many different languages they represent and find the one that speaks to them, an unexpected connection to their diverse countries of origin. The students ask about the steps outlined on the posters–Slow Down, Connect to Body, Orient, Pendulate, Engage–and begin to feel the impact in their bodies as their teacher explains.

Angela M. Adhikari has been an educator in Germany for more than 20 years and an SEP since 2017. Her current classroom has 15 students, ages 6-11 years, and includes families recently arrived from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, North Macedonia, Romania, Jordan and Russia.

After SEI released the SCOPE protocol last year, Angela printed copies of each language represented in her classroom to hang on the wall. “The kids were curious,” she says, “so I showed them how to walk through the steps. Now they do it in their own way.” She also incorporates individual elements of SCOPE into lessons such as walking 10 steps slowly, holding the body, and talking to each other for activation of the ventral vagal system. “I do not force them to do it all together. I wait to see how everything is going,” and then she inserts the material as opportunities arise.

In the fall of 2023, Angela sent a request from her students to SEUTF – could SCOPE be translated into Arabic and Urdu so that “all our languages” can be on the wall? Students also wanted to bring the protocol home to their parents. It took a couple of months but SEUTF was able to identify volunteers to produce the Arabic versions in cooperation with SE Organizers in Egypt; an Urdu version will be added when volunteers from Pakistan are identified.

SCOPE has already made a significant impact for these children and their families. “It’s fun for the students,” Angela reports. “They get calmer and more regulated. And with all the languages, it’s a great tool in my classroom.”

To learn more about how Angela incorporates SE into her classroom, please see her presentation to the SEUTF Conference on February 15th entitled Refugee Kids in School: How SE Tools can Make a Difference (starting at the 29:00 mark) and her forthcoming book Körperorientierte Stressbewältigung (Body-oriented Stress Management: Eliminate classroom disturbances, solve learning blockades, increase concentration).

The global SE Community is deeply grateful to the nearly 100 volunteers who have collaborated to make SCOPE available in 35 languages and counting and to amazing SEPs like Angela who are finding creative ways to use this tool in their classrooms and communities!

If you would like to be part of translating SCOPE into a new language, please contact SEI at International@traumahealing.org to start the volunteer process.

If you have a SCOPE story of impact, we’d love to hear it! Please send your story to: communications@traumahealing.org.
To connect with Angela Adhikari see: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-adhikari-1a9740230/