I have been fortunate to encounter difficulties throughout my life as a child -as we all do on some level - and I just carried on, no knowing that some professional help could have made my life a little bit easier not only then, but also during adulthood. While my life path led me to explore different and very interesting routes both professionally and academically, one of them took me one fine day to holding a job in an office where I nearly died smashed by a monstrous filing cabinet in a very respected financial institution in Geneva.
Thanks to this freak accident -truly a blessing in disguise- I had the opportunity to experience up-close and personal the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) treatment. The impact was such that I started to strongly question traditional mental health care and decided to work again with children. A few years from there, work took me to Colombia where I spent 15 days with a team of specialists in a camp for children. These professionals had come up with an EMDR based protocol to literally "heal" children who had suffered the most horrific sexual, physical and psychological abuse. I got to learn and study this method which had practically given back the light in the eyes of these children - who had started the program as mere broken shadow of themselves. Today I am still in touch with one of the young participants and I realized that some things needed to be modified, adapted, remodeled.
And that is what I did. I returned to Geneva to export this method and adapt it so it can fit the local needs. After a trip to Senegal and to Cameroon to assess the feasibility of building such a program there with local teams, I returned to Geneva and realized as well that many children and adolescents here - not necessarily experiencing horrific trauma - are nonetheless struggling enough to deserve a little break and experience 10 days to regroup and rebuild a bit of their inner-resources to carry on a little stronger, a little happier, and a little healthier. This is why we built 2 programs and I made this my mission to make these programs accessible to children who need some help, when they think they don't necessarily qualify for it.
Help can take many faces but every child and adolescents has the right to access a little help to allow them to carry on through their childhood and grow to become the caring, healthy and thriving individual they were always born to be."