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Our key principles

 

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The Dulwich Centre Foundation recognises the survival skills of children, young people, and adults. We then find ways to support and strengthen these skills.

 

More specifically, this approach is based on the following principles:

  • Enable people to tell their stories in ways that make them stronger.

  • The person is not the problem; the problem is the problem.

  • Recognise people’s responses and survival skills. No matter what hardship a community is enduring, children, adults, and grandparents will always be responding in some way. They may be holding onto their dreams or hopes for the future. They may be protecting themselves or their loved-ones. People are always taking steps to reclaim their lives from the effects of the problems they are facing.

  • Discover people’s skills, knowledge, and values in dealing with the hardships of their lives.

  • Link people’s skills, knowledge, and values together in collective ways.

  • Document these skills, knowledges, and values in a range of ways, mediums, and cultural forms.

  • Enable people who are experiencing hardship to make a contribution to others who are also experiencing hard times. The experience of making a contribution sustains and generates hope. Even if getting their own life together is too hard at first, if they can experience making a contribution to the lives of others, this can be a starting point.

  • Develop culturally-appropriate hopeful ways of working with children and young people. These include the very popular Tree of Life and Team of Life methodologies, where children and young people can deal with difficult experiences they have been through in safe and light-hearted ways.

  • Involve different mediums – talking, writing, song, ceremony. There are many different ways to effectively build upon the skills and knowledge of those who are going through hard times.

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