Libera has accomplished a few “firsts” in the last couple of months, and they are significant for empowering teens and women across the state to break out of cycles of helplessness and hopelessness.
We have almost completed a teen group in a public high school! Preston County High has graciously allowed us to lead a group during the school day with at risk teens. All of the girls, when asked if they were listened to or felt understood or heard, said “no” individually and emphatically. Several also were very interested in learning more about how to love themselves and have a good relationship with themselves! This is only the beginning, as we are creating connections and pursuing possibilities in several other school systems at this time.
We have designed and implemented an official course of instruction and training to officially certify Libera Listeners. This is crucial, as it will help us raise up a corps of volunteer women around the state to listen to teen’s and women’s stories, lead groups, and help resource them. Our goal is to have a Listener in every county of West Virginia, in order to lead groups and workshops there. Interested? Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have led groups of 15 and 11 women through the Libera Listener training; we will soon have over 20 officially certified Listeners, and others who are on their way to becoming certified. These women live in and represent 8 counties of West Virginia.
In other news:
We hired a new Program Director, Barbara White, who has an extensive background in 12 Step Programs.
Our counselor is working with a number of teens and college students struggling with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, as well as abuse and sexual assault.
We finished a teen group with Girl Scouts in the northern panhandle.
We have connected 4 women in financial and physical need to food, clothing, furniture, holiday gifts for their children, and resources.
We are helping a few women get connected to higher education and employment.
We have supported and empowered women in abusive situations.
The Executive Director, Karen Haring, spoke on the #MeToo movement, domestic violence, and trafficking with a group of pastors and church leaders in Ohio, to help them learn about these issues, and how to listen and connect women and teens to resources. These leaders talked about setting up systems to help women and teens report abuse and have someone listen to their stories.
We did a very successful Listening event at the Mountain Lair on the WVU Campus
We held a Libera workshop in Beckley, a place we’ve never done a group.
We have a December 8 Libera workshop planned for Preston County, all welcome:
We have a new group starting in Harrison County in January, all welcome: https://www.facebook.com/events/193947854848038/