A Workshop in Gulu

In the early morning of 4 September, 2015, our host collected us Kenyan delegates to start the journey to Gulu, North Uganda, for an RC workshop. We later picked up all the Ugandan team from different waiting points in the beautiful, hilly city of Kampala (Uganda), and soon we were all headed to Gulu.

The journey was long but very interesting. In different groups as we sat we listened attentively to each person. The countryside was fertile, and on the roadside we were able to buy pineapples, melons, cassava, simsim (sesame seed), cookies, and plenty of bananas.

On arrival, Abitimo Odongkara, Pamela Haines, and Chuck Esser1 were waiting and offered us a wonderful, filling dinner. Before long all of us were checked in and happy in Comboni Retreat Centre. Suddenly, the heavens opened and there was a heavy downpour. This helped us sleep the night away.

At the workshop we had daily classes with Chuck, Pamela, Rickie,2 and Wanjiku,3 and feedback from all of us leaders on how sessions, support groups, and table topics were going. Nothing was left to chance, and we leaders felt very happy and supported.

During the oppression topic, all the men promised to change and support families. On the family day, as we listened to children, it was evident that the distresses we all face contribute significantly to how the children are raised. A young child was allowed to cry all through his distresses until he regained his composure and was very happy and able to freely interact with people. The mothers and fathers were happy to discover that Re-evaluation Counseling can enhance how they bring up their children and that it’s not too late to change.

One parent decided to adopt a more loving and caring attitude toward her daughter. She realized this was possible by applying special time4 and committing to listening more often to her. She and I promised to remain in touch and follow up on her progress with the little girl, whom I noticed was greatly affected.

The three-way sessions each had an experienced leader, a knowledgeable support person, and someone who had not experienced much RC prior to the workshop. This worked out so well that our only challenge was that time was not allowing for many more sessions.

Special appreciation goes to all the leaders and participants for the commendable participation we all enjoyed.

I made the following personal commitments:

• In all aspects of my life, I am going to make everything that I do go well.

• I will teach more RC in opportunities I get working with families and women’s groups.

• I will discharge more on the “whys” of what I don’t like, so that I re-emerge better!

• I will continue to read more RC literature to understand RC better.

Re-evaluation Counseling has been a beautiful gift of wholeness and healing. It has had a huge positive impact on my life and the lives of those around me. My family has greatly benefitted from my participation, and I can see that soon most of my family members will be RCers.

Jane Lucy Wambui Gachihi

Nairobi, Kenya

(Present Time 182, January 2016)

1 Abitimo Odongkara is the Area Reference Person for North Uganda. Pamela Haines is the Area Reference Person for the Schuylkill I Area in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Chuck Esser is the Regional Reference Person for New Jersey, USA, and the International Commonality Reference Person for Family Work.
2 Rickie Kashdan, an RC leader in Long Branch, New Jersey, USA
3 Wanjiku Kironyo, the Regional Reference Person for Northern Africa
4 “Special time” is an activity, developed in RC family work, during which an adult puts a young person in full charge of their mutual relationship, as far as the young person can think. For a specific period of time, the adult lets the young person know that he or she is willing to do anything the young person wants to do. The adult focuses his or her entire attention on the young person and follows his or her lead, whether the young person tells, or simply shows, the adult what she or he wants to do.

Last modified: 2023-04-15 09:24:12+00