This August, Selah hosted another iteration of its specialized retreat for families of Ethiopian origin in which older siblings are raising their orphaned younger brothers and sisters. Held in the safe, beautiful setting of Nachshonim, the families get a much-needed respite from everyday stresses and challenges, while connecting with others who understand their loss and pain.
The younger siblings participate in a broad range of recreational activities, which in addition to being fun, also provide the chance to share stories of their loss and their fear in a supportive environment. The older siblings participate in intensive peer support workshops, facilitated by Selah trauma professionals. In the group meetings, the older siblings share their experiences, their pain, and challenges, as well as their aspirations and dreams. They learn coping mechanisms and explore ways in which it is possible to pursue their own personal goals, even while raising the children. The peer support groups are a touchstone of Selah retreats, with strong relationships forming between the participants that often continue beyond the days of the retreat. Participants on a recent healing retreat even stay in touch on a What’sApp text group!