Sharing good practice around the world

In November 2015, a group of Railway Children staff – along with colleagues from its partners in the UK and East Africa – travelled to Puebla, Mexico to learn about the ground-breaking work of JUCONI.

A long-time friend and partner of Railway Children, the JUCONI Foundation helps street-connected children and their families to break the cycle of intergenerational violence and poverty. It has been giving intensive therapeutic support to vulnerable families for more than 25 years.  

Railway Children maximises its impact worldwide by sharing the expertise gained by its local partners and collaborators widely across different regions and projects. 

During the ten-day visit, the hosts from JUCONI provided the group from Railway Children with in-depth training on the methods they use to heal deep emotional wounds and change ingrained patterns of harmful behaviour.

The group also went on family visits and reflected on how they might put what they had learned into practice back home.

Buthaina Ibrahim Mnawa from our partner, the Undugu Society of Kenya told us: “This stands out as one of the best training workshops I have ever attended. I have come away more equipped with knowledge and skills and feel far more empowered to deal with children’s and families’ issues.”

Michelle Hellewell from our partner in South Yorkshire, SAFE@LAST, told us that she had already begun to weave some of JUCONI’s therapeutic techniques into her own practice as a Senior Family Support Worker and to share what she’d learned with her colleagues. She was particularly moved by an exercise to help the group understand why children often resist support offered by professionals and carers.

“This was a very emotional activity, in particular for some delegates from Africa who themselves had been street children and had experienced some of the feelings we discussed,” said Michelle. “I now feel I will be more empathetic when dealing with these behaviours and supporting other colleagues who may be finding this difficult.”

Railway Children and JUCONI are now working together to share the good practice demonstrated during the visit more widely by developing a diploma that will eventually be delivered to staff and partners in their local settings.