Ka-Bogso (Be Healed) – Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences
Maine Community Integration embraces the use of nature connection along with culturally appropriate music, poetry, and creative arts in coping and healing trauma-affected youth, adolescents, and adults. The long-term impact of nature exposure therapy and creative arts interventions are demonstrated through research, program development, and practice. In a world that is dominated by news of conflict, violence, and natural disasters affecting millions of children around the globe, there is a need for effective strategies for coping with trauma. The effects of such trauma on both children and communities are deep and long-lasting.
MCI’s Ka-Bogso program provides access to nature for Lewiston’s inner city youth and moms; going on field trips to places like the Boothbay Botanical Gardens, the Outward Bound program in Newry, and berry picking at local farms. These activities encourage bonding across nationalities, religions, ethnicity and races. This bonding enables youth to overcome the trauma bonding experienced during violence and persecution. MCI teaches youth to meditate in nature and appreciate the beautiful the State of Maine. Ka-Bogso meets every Wednesday throughout the school year to do art therapy led by Bates College Professor of Psychology Yun Garrison.
The programs were designed to reduce stress, improve coping, and process the trauma associated with crisis by drawing on a range of techniques including forest bathing, wading in the ocean, drumming, traditional dance, singing, sewing, sharing stories, and relaxing with music.