(including Organising Re-entry events)
Change is external, but transition is an internal process with a characteristic shape. TCKs face multiple changes that bring many times of transition. Emerging out of this are common issues for TCKs such as identity, home, relationships, mobility, choice and control, continuity and the whole re-entry experience. TCKs very often find their sense of belonging in relationships with other TCKs.
Agencies and other TCK specialists need to find ways of helping them to connect, but also giving them a place to belong.
Drawing on the experience of leading seven ReKonnect camps in the UK for TCKs aged 6-12, Janet Chapman helped the group identify 14 aspects to consider when planning re-entry events for younger TCKs. These are
- Choosing a location
- Getting the right timing
- Building an intergenerational team
- What Bible content to include and how
- What ice-breaker activities to use
- Integrating worship into the programme
- Working on time lines with the children
- Recognising the challenges they face
- Building in a “window on the world”.
- What outings to include
- Money matters – costs and possible subsidies
- Including craft activities
- Encouraging children to say good goodbyes
- Plan separate events for younger TCKs or have a separate younger track.
- Have a high ratio of leaders to TCKs so that there is opportunity for lots of listening.
- Include time for TCKs to ask each other questions about their countries and time overseas. They ask very good questions!
- Aim for TCKs or others with overseas experience as leaders.
- Operate under a full safeguarding children policy.
- Use creative, as well as spoken, means to encourage TCKs to share their unique stories
- Build up a library of Christian and secular books about TCK life, travel, the passport country, making friends and handling change.
- Provide information about teen TCK events for those who value belonging to a group that meets up annually
- A 5 day camp is a year of planning, but such a blessing
- Invest in people who will be your advocates – personal recommendation works best.
For information about the UK’s annual ReKonnect camps for 6-12s and teens visit www.globalconnections.org.uk
Marion Knell (UK Global Connections)
David & Janet Kronbach (Barnabas International)
Janet Chapman (OMF UK and Re-Konnect re-entry camps)