Helpmates – Social Environment

When we live together, we develop liking for some, dislike for some. Also, some of our actions are accepted, some actions creates difficulty for others.
HelpMatesis one forum which offers opportunity for all of us to come together to understand each other. This is also a space to share one’s voice for any discomfort or any help required in social relationships, in living together. Individuals are encouraged to share concerns and ask community help in solving / overcoming the concerns.
Helpmates happens on fridays – almost 3-4 times in a term – each time in a different format.
This week (Friday, 6th July) the format was: first share concern in written form and then discussing (openly) with concerned personto understand all thepoint of views. As we shared and listened – we came to understanding that some actions are leading to feeling unsafe “physically (beating,pulling cheeks, pinching etc), emotionally (putting down with words and actions).
As a community we discussed “how do we as community bring “physical, emotional, and sexual safety.
Concern list included:
* Pulling cheeks, Pinching hands, In Spite of saying no continuing – feeling unsafe
* In outdoor as community we decided lunch budget, one child did not follow code, and instead arguing that he’ll pay from his personal money.
* One child interferes in my work, anyone I talk she walks in between and says “my friend, you cannot talk” and threatens me that she will complain to her mom. She does not cooperate in session. I feel emotionally uncomfortable in the environment.
* Taking advantage over small ones to release your stress, or small ones taking advantage of crying, complaining.
* Blabbering, use of un-appropriate language in whispers.
One expression:
“While trekking, i was very scared to jump from rock and another child called me “don’t be chicken” I literally cried without knowing what to do, i was blocked totally, mentally. I don’t know to ask help.
As some of us spoke and shared, we understood that “sometimes we don’t know our limits, sometimes we are not sensitive, sometimes we go by our own experience, sometimes we don’t listen to body and verbal expressions, sometimes we don’t understand our own actions”.
Some shared – Something happening around, and i did not know or notice. Unless its serious/bad, we should not interfere in others work.
After understanding it was time to think “how do we bring emotional, physical and sexual safety in the community?” – Some of the solutions suggested were
  • Let go
  • Express / Speak up, Speak out to peer, community or both
  • Write to the person, Write in your own dairy (journal)
  • Be mindful
By the end of the session – none was punished, none was victim, none was consoled, none was hero, none was villain … we all came out of the session with a better understanding of our own and each other’s actions and needs.