Shenandoah District and Montezuma Church of the Brethren in Dayton, Va., co-sponsored a Level I Disaster Child Care (DCC) Training Workshop on March 10-11. “This training event, organized by Patricia Black, was a huge success with 21 persons participating,” said Helen Stonesifer, coordinator of the program. DCC is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren General Board.
Leadership for the workshop was provided by Patricia Ronk of Roanoke, Va., and Donna Uhlig of New Enterprise, Pa. Both currently “wear several hats” with the DCC program, Stonesifer said. On Saturday, pairs of the trainees took turns standing on chairs and scolding their partners, who knelt on the floor. “We do that so they know how (the children) feel,” said Ronk. “Always put yourself in the child’s position.”
Taking part in Disaster Child Care “is something I feel very personally and spiritually about,” said Carol Yowell, a mother of three, who participated in the training. “I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now.” Once the participants successfully complete the DCC certification process, they will be equipped to serve children affected by disaster.
Another Level I Disaster Child Care Training Workshop scheduled to take place at Indian Creek Church of the Brethren in Harleysville, Pa., March 17-18, has been postponed and may be rescheduled for next year.
Stonesifer and DCC volunteers Jean Myers and Donald and Barbara Weaver also participated in a Camp Noah training in Minneapolis, Minn., last week. Camp Noah is a week long, faith-based day camp offered for elementary-age children and youth who have experienced disaster.
The curriculum is based upon the Old Testament story of Noah’s Ark and the flood. “Hearing this story and comparing themselves to it gives the children the platform to talk about the various phases and emotions of their own disaster experience,” Stonesifer reported. “Camp Noah and the Disaster Child Care program have the same interests at heart when it comes to helping children cope with disaster.”