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Article “We accompany with the person that we are”, F. Javier Romeo, for the initiative “Renewing from within”

Portada del artículo "Acompañamos con la persona que somos" de F. Javier RomeoThe pandemic has brought us many difficult things, and I wish it hadn't happened. And even so we can use their symbols to have a greater awareness about our way of being with children, and adolescents who have suffered much, as is the case with those who live with protection measures.

The initiative “Renewing from within”, from which we already talked about its launch in May 2021, aims to offer some ideas to continue reflecting on the protection system in Spain (and can also be used for many other places). My contribution this month is article “We accompany with the person that we are”, in which I offer a series of analogies between measures against COVID-19 and the awareness we need when dealing with children, girls and adolescents with protection measures. It is aimed at professionals and families of all kinds (originally, cozy, adoptivas…).

You can read the article in the blog of “Renewing from within”, from where you can also download it in PDF.

And I would love to know if those metaphors serve you, or how would you raise them from your point of view. I will read you carefully.

F. Javier Romeo

“Losing forgiveness for not knowing how to look and not wanting to see” article by Pepa Horno for the BBK Family program

Image from the article on the BBK Family blogThe article that they raised me from BBK Family it was quite a challenge. Talk about the forgiveness that as families we can ask victims of child sexual abuse, to the kids, girls and adolescents who are living it and we do not know how to detect yet, and the inner child that lives within so many men and women that society did not know how to see, those he called sick, crazy and liars; sick, crazy and liars.

I've tried to talk about that shaking feeling, of emptiness, of fragility that invades us when we begin to be aware of something that we have denied, minimized or even ridiculed. And that is happening to us as a society with violence against children and especially with child sexual abuse..

Since CI Spirals we have talked a lot about this topic, how social change is a reality, that impunity for offenders is beginning to decrease and how this is the truly effective way to end any form of violence. They are not the strategies that we implement with the victims or with those who attack, but the generation of a safe and protective environment created by the people who witness or intuit it and decide to act. It is silence that makes trauma possible, as it says Begoña Aznárez, and ending that silence is an essential condition to eradicate violence.

But to break that silence, the society, families have to do a process of consciousness that hurts. That process by which teachers, when you shape them, put names and surnames, and above all they put a face to what you explain. “But I had a boy like that last year in class“, “That girl did that…”. That process that neighbors do when it is discovered that a child has been abused, or appears murdered, those who saw him play in the park, those whose children shared class with him or her. And we think of that sad look, in those dark circles, in that girl who lived in a protection center and the educators saw how she always trembled when a door was closed. The same girl who insulted them and said “pass them”. And in so many other faces that we begin to see when we learn to look.

Asking for forgiveness means honoring and naming the pain of those who have suffered. Giving it a name makes it real. That is why it is necessary and legitimate. And it carries a commitment. An option that doesn't always come, but as a society we need to break the silence.

Years ago I posted a article here in which he spoke of two phases of forgiveness: affective integration of lived experience, your acceptance, and a second, rebuilding the link. The first is part of the grieving and recovery process.. The second is a personal choice that can never be forced or set as a condition in a healing process.. Victims of child sexual abuse have the right to forgive and unforgive, and both can be protective decisions. But they should never consider forgiveness if they do not live in a trustworthy society.. Y, for the moment, we are only on the way to be.

Consciousness leads us to know how to look. And see hurts. Asking for forgiveness is the first step to being trustworthy.

Pepa Horno

Exhibition “The protective environment as a condition for the good treatment of children” in the “Conference on good treatment of children and adolescents” online the 20 April 2021

Cartel de las "Jornadas sobre buen trato a la infancia y adolescencia"Exhibition “The protective environment as a condition for the good treatment of children” provided by Pepa Horno Goicoechea in the “Conference on good treatment of children and adolescents” organized by the program BBK Family, a Proyect of BBK with the collaboration of social entities EDE Foundation and Road construction GEK.

Date: Tuesday, 20 April 2021, to 09:35 (Bilbao time).

Place: online journeys.

Free registration.

More information and registration on the BBK Family event website.

[Original Entry 31 March 2021, updated 20 April 2021, date of the online event].

Affective-sexual education guide for adolescents “Dare to feel, dare to take care and take care of yourself” prepared by Itziar Fernández and Pepa Horno for the Burgos City Council


Since CI Spirals, we understand affective-sexual education as a human right of children, and adolescents; but also, as a preventive factor that contributes to promoting healthy physical and mental development from an early age.

Our body is a source of communication, affection, tenderness and pleasure. We are sexed beings and sexuality is a dimension of the human being from birth to death, there is enormous variability in the ways of living it, to express it, in the ways of being and relating.

There are many reports and investigations that have been warning of the problems associated with the consumption of pornography from an early age and its relationship with the perpetuation of gender violence in young couples and the increase in sexual violence both within and outside the couple.

When these and these teens have been asked, They report that they turn to the internet and their friends to solve all their doubts related to sexuality; and complain that school educational programs are fundamentally focused on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, something that is necessary, but insufficient to understand the wide range of elements that make up a healthy affective-sexual and couple relationship.

And they are right: From educational contexts we have been addressing affective-sexual education treating different topics as if they were watertight compartments: we talk about stereotypes, gender violence, affective-sexual diversity, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, leaving aside very important aspects.

The first part of your own denomination: education AFFECTIVE-sexual and everything that has to do with desire, eroticism and pleasure. With the arrival of adolescence, desire and sexual attraction are gaining ground. Body and hormonal changes are imposed and can generate a lot of uncertainty and insecurity. This can affect our self-esteem, and a fundamental step to be able to live our affective relationships in a safe and pleasant way is to feel good inside our own body. Pleasure is in the mind, and this is about loving and accepting us first.

The culture of the image and the bombardment of differential stereotypes for boys and girls through the networks does not help at all, quite the opposite, transmits an image of a "unique model" where they must fit in to feel accepted.

On the other hand, the way we express or live our sexuality is unique and personal. Diversity is part of human nature and there are as many ways of feeling and living as people on the planet. Questions arise like: “How is my body?”, “Who I am?”, “Who attracts me?”, “How do I show myself to the world?”. Approach diversity with respect for individuality, assuming a social responsibility to stop machismo, lgtbiphobia and transphobia will allow us to contribute to the establishment of more egalitarian relationships and to the fact that adolescence can be experienced with greater freedom.

Starting from this base, we want boys and girls to be able to clearly differentiate what an affective relationship is (you, free, safe and reciprocal) of a harmful relationship where we can fall into abusive models. That is why we have to talk about respect and care. Since CI Spirals today we spread the Affective-sexual education guide: Dare to feel, dare to take care and watch over you we have prepared Itziar Fernández Cortés and Pepa Horno Goicoechea for him Burgos City Council with illustrations of Patricia corrales, and that addresses affective-sexual education from this perspective, uniting the affectivity, sexuality and protection. We have written it in a direct and simple language so that it can be read directly by adolescents between 13 and 18 years, with some relevant information also for families.

We hope that your pages can be a material where adolescents find an answer to their curiosity., calling things by name, and highlighting the indivisible union between sexuality, affection, placer, respect and intimacy.

Itziar Fernandez and Pepa Horno

“Raising to tribe, grow network”, Pepa Horno online conference organized by BBK Family on 29 September 2020


Videoconference “Raising to tribe, grow network: the affective network as the key to integrating uncertainty”, provided by Pepa Horno and organized by BBK Family.

Date: Tuesday, 29 September 2020, the 18:00 a 19:30 (Bilbao time).

Free entry online. To reserve a ticket sign up on the BBK Family website.

[Original Entry 15 September 2020, updated 1 October 2020, date of publication of the event online].

You can see the full conference in the following youtube video:

How to accompany fragility after confinement by COVID-19

During these months of the health emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, from Espirales CI we have tried to contribute from what we know how to do. We have been trying to answer the demand for emotional support, supervision and advice of professional teams working with children, girls and adolescents in the field of protection, in social and educational services mainly. Addition, We have maintained emotional support on a personal and therapeutic level at the individual level.

Throughout all this time reflections have emerged that we have shared in our personal spaces, so much Pepa Horno and your personal blog as F. Javier Romeo on his blog More Authentic Connection. But as often happens in our journey, the personal meets the professional, so we do not want to start the summer holidays without sharing in this space some of those reflections that have everything to do with the design and planning of measures that will be necessary to accompany the children, girls and teenagers in autumn.

The first reflection is that we will be wrong if we try to return to life and the pre-COVID-19 world. Not only because it is impossible, the world has changed in a significant way that does not allow return or oblivion. But because it can be destructive. There are some learnings that this pandemic has brought that we should not forget and that impel us to transform us. But, we perceive that both on a personal level, As socially and institutionally, measures are being developed in many cases from a provisional approach while awaiting the vaccine that allows us to return to the world we had. And we think it's a mistake.

COVID-19 has made us aware of our vulnerability. We were always vulnerable, but we lived with our backs to it from an experience of omnipotence generated by the false sense of control. We believed that we controlled our lives, and that the world worked by rules that if we followed them things would fit. But, a virus has been able to lay down our lives “upside down” and demonstrate the fragility of the social system, economic and institutional that we had built. Vulnerability, and the fear that comes with it, have become evidence. And we are not yet able to measure the consequences of that change at the social and institutional level. We should not be so naive to think that this experience is not going to transform social relations, individual decision making, the state of people's mental and affective health as well as political and institutional decisions.

The second reflection would imply some keys that are necessary for this transformation at a professional and institutional level.:

1. We need generate flexible structures. COVID-19 has forced us for the first time to work globally in a pandemic situation, of emergency. If effective interventions in an emergency situation are characterized by something, it is their flexibility. We have to maintain that criterion and generate structures, Projects, spaces that are flexible, easy to modify and adapt to different situations and populations. And this applies from the construction and its materials (How about if you look at architecture that can move and transform?), to physical spaces (open, with flexibility in its use, that allow movement…), to the design of programs and interventions in any workplace (programs that include internal transformation mechanisms), to working models (the face-to-face, telework, the connections, and so on.) or to vocational training (stop considering specialized training as the ultimate goal and move on to considering more general profiles as necessary that can maintain a global vision, as it happens with the specialty of internal medicine within the medical field).

Let's look at a clear example that is being debated a lot right now: the school. The measures that are being considered right now have to do with how to continue doing what was being done but implementing the security measures that were contemplated. That's impossible. We have to transform education. School spaces, make them open and modular, forgetting the classroom; work methodologies implementing once and for all project education throughout the educational cycle; open spaces that facilitate integration into nature and not cement in patios. It's about thinking of a different school in many ways. Not in the same school that we had, only guaranteeing social distance. If we have learned anything about school thanks to COVID-19 it is to see it as what it always was and in many cases we had forgotten: a protective structure, that generates equity and social integration, in addition to learning. Education and social distance are not compatible because the basis of the educational process is the human relationship, both between those who educate and the boys and girls and between themselves. And we are not only talking about the role of sensorimotor development and physical contact in nursery schools but about all educational cycles.

2. We need see provisionality as one of the few sure constants. We can't continue planning projects, immovable structures or plans. Children, girls and adolescents must learn to move physically, to change geographic location, From home, life, like adults to change jobs or residency. The post-COVID-19 world makes permanence very difficult. Our generations were educated to follow a long term, to plan your life (and we're not just talking about mortgages, but about work and personal life) and to measure progress through consumer capacity. None of these criteria will be criteria of success in the post-COVID-19 world.. It's about teaching how to flow, to change, not to hold onto possessions or places. And it will cost us a lot, because we were educated to the contrary, especially here in Europe.

3. We need back to small. In all senses and realities. Small places, small structures, small groups, small organizations. We are not only thinking about things that have been discussed a lot these days, like the need to transform big cities, shopping malls or massive entertainment venues due to the dangers they may entail. We think about operating structures, social intervention projects, health, educational, coexistence structures and many other issues. For us, one of the key lessons that COVID-19 leaves us in a very literal way is that only the small is sustainable. Returning to the example of the school, let's think about schools of 1200 students or in schools 300, four lines or one. But let's think about work teams where when the decision levels are very complex, the effectiveness of any measure is lost as well as slowing down and institutionalizing. The “little” it has many vertices, many faces, many things we could talk about at this point.

4. And last but not least, we need strengthen the community. A society is articulated around three levels: the individual, the community and the system. In the different continents social structures have developed that prioritize one or two of their levels, missing the third. In some countries the community and the system prevail, there where it exists, about the individual. In other countries it survives from the community and the individual because social systems are weak and vulnerable. In our reality, where we could include Europe and North America the individual and the system are prioritized losing the community. And the community has an essential protective role that always arises in crisis or emergency situations. When people have a strong emotional network, they are less likely to fall into situations of social exclusion or economic vulnerability. When societies have effective community participation structures, neighborhoods and cities are humanized and transformed. The affective network is one of the non-negotiable conditions of the protection of the individual that cannot be sustained only from the system. And that affective network is strengthened and established in the community. The post-COVID-19 world forces us to look towards the communities where we live: from changing the nuclear family model recovering the role of the extended family to incorporating community participation structures at any level of institutional intervention.

Sure there are many more elements, but for us from Espirales CI these are constitutive elements that must be present in any organizational or institutional decision that is made in these months. With them we want to finish this series of inputs which include the different materials, resources and videos that we have created for different contexts of intervention (education, protection, social services) as geographic (Spain, Latin America). We hope we have achieved our purpose that was none other than to accompany the professionals who work with children, girls and adolescents and their families.

A big hug,

Pepa Horno and F. Javier Romeo

F's videos. Javier Romeo “The three intelligences and sadness” in Spanish, French and Moroccan Arabic

Now closing the revitalization of the Blog “UNICEF with protection centers” during the COVID-19 health emergency we concluded the videos for children, and adolescents (especially for those who live in protection centers) with this last batch.

In first video we explore our three intelligences and how to use them to better manage rabies and second video we saw how to use the three intelligences to better relate to our fears, which were the most prominent emotions then. In third video we focus on something very necessary after all we have lived: learn to ask for help better.

In this fourth batch of videos we become aware of sadness, and how to use the three intelligences to better manage it. Why, curiously, Now that fear for the health emergency is decreasing, sadness begins for all the losses. Loss of persons, who have died or disappeared from daily life. Loss of situations, how to go to the educational center, the times with friends and families and leisure spaces. And also missed opportunities, from the experiences that allow development, like education, relationships and leisure.

There is a temptation to pretend that nothing has happened. But what has happened, has passed, and we need to assimilate it little by little. We need to give ourselves time to go through sadness.

In this video aimed at children, and adolescents, we explore the use of the three intelligences seen in the previous videos to better manage sadness. With seven keys and a reminder of the importance of asking for help, it will be possible that we take advantage of the sadness to value what we have in each moment.

Here is the video in Spanish:

Here is the video in French:

And here is the video in Moroccan Arabic:

With hope and awareness,

F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno

Article “Rest the soul”, by Pepa Horno for BBK Family

After everything we have experienced during the health emergency, it is important that we rest.

At Espirales Consultoría de Infancia we have been collaborating with the programa BKK Family they coordinate Bidegintza and EDE Foundation (among other issues, with these videos about conscious parenting, with these public workshops who taught F. Javier Romeo or with this video about “Living outdoors” at the beginning of the coronavirus health emergency).

This time they asked me for an article about this different summer, and my fundamental message is its title: we need “Rest the soul”.

I hope that Article you like it and it helps you find moments of rest,

Pepa Horno

F's videos. Javier Romeo “The three intelligences and ask for help” in Spanish, French and Moroccan Arabic

Here we have one more delivery included in the revitalization of the Blog “UNICEF with protection centers” during the health emergency by COVID-19 with a new batch of videos for children, and adolescents (especially for those who live in protection centers).

In first video we learned about our three intelligences and how to use them to better manage rabies, and second video we explore how to use the three intelligences to better relate to our fears. In this third video we focus on something fundamental after all we have lived: learn to ask for help better. Most of us have had a hard time during confinement, and children, girls and teenagers too. And now that there is more relationship, it's time to ask for help, from people close or far, to be able to solve what has appeared in this time and to be able to live with accompaniment the different experiences.

They are designed to be seen with children, girls and adolescents and being able to ask them questions like “Do you need any help from me that I haven't seen in this time??”, “Who else could you ask for help?”, “What other ways to ask for help can you think of??”.

Here is the video in Spanish:

Here is the video in French:

And here is the video in Moroccan Arabic:

With hope and awareness,

F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno

F's videos. Javier Romeo “The three intelligences and fear” in Spanish, French and Moroccan Arabic

Continuing with the revitalization of Blog “UNICEF with protection centers” during the health emergency by COVID-19, we continue with the videos for children, girls and adolescents living in protection centers. In this second video F. Javier Romeo explores how to use the three intelligences presented in the first video also to better manage fear, with six practical proposals.

Here is the video in Spanish (Castilian):

Here is the video in French:

Here is the video in Moroccan Arabic (Tangier-Tetouan dialect):

We hope you find them useful to talk to children, girls and adolescents of their fears and worries, both with regard to health, studies or social life.

With hope and awareness,

F. Javier Romeo and Pepa Horno

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