Counseling the traumatised adolescents of the Burundian war : a pastoral study
This research was prompted by the tremendous need for pastoral counselling among the adolescents of Burundi since the civil war ten years ago. Many of them have been traumatised through among others rape, abuse, the murdering of their parents, and the burning down of their houses. Because of the serious lack of pastoral counsellors, these young people have had to survive on their own. Some of them have been involved as soldiers in the fighting among opposing factions, some have spent a considerable amount of time in refugee camps, and some became street children where they were exposed to sexual immoralities, drugs, alcohol and crime. Because of all these circumstances, the majority of them are wrestling with overwhelming unresolved pain, hurt and grief. Many of them are depressed and without any joy, meaning or goals for the future. The aim of this study has therefore been to present some pastoral guidelines for counselling this young generation who is struggling to overcome the emotional scars and wounds of the past. Through exegesis, certain Biblical principles have been identified pertaining to the lives of some Biblical characters that experienced different forms of trauma. These principles have been incorporated in the counselling 'model' proposed in Chapter 5. Valuable perspectives from some of the disciplines of human sciences have also been identified with regard to the typical problems and questions that adolescents are wrestling with. The impact of trauma has been discussed, together with the different phases of a traumatic experience as well as the phases of 'n grieving process. Many of the adolescents have been traumatised as well as having the experience of losing somebody through death. Empirical questionnaires were distributed among adolescents, parents, pastors as well as some Christian organisations in Burundi. These questionnaires provided valuable information with regard to some of the basic needs among adolescents. Eventually, a number of pastoral guidelines were formulated that specifically focus on the background, present circumstances and needs of the adolescents of Burundi. These guidelines can be used in the training and equipping of pastors and lay counsellors that are involved with the counselling of these adolescents and their needs.
- Theology