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We would like to introduce you to 'Roots to Relief'. This rapidly evolving collaborative project was initiated in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine by Surrey Based, health and wellbeing therapist Aga Kehinde. She is fundraising in response to the war in Ukraine to bring help in it’s truest form and training to those who need it on the front line of the humanitarian response in Poland.

‘Roots to Relief' will provide cognitive-somatic tools for crisis that are easy to learn and accessible by anyone, any time. We are a coalition of EFT practitioners from EFT International, mentored by Peaceful Heart Network, ACEP, and Create Global Healing. We have been bought together in a shared desire to create projects that can bring immediate tools to communities on the ground in times of crisis.

We are bringing easy tools for trauma relief, resilience, and stabilisation to aid workers, communities, and refugees in Poland. We have established a relationship with a town in Poland, who are in need of ‘Roots to Relief’ support, education, and training for their emergency services, aid workers, and communities involved with assisting the incoming refugee population. In the first instance, we are using TTT, EFT, and other simple body-based techniques. We are delivering education and training in these skills for self-help, sharing with others, and delivery to groups on the ground.

Hi My name is Aga Kehinde, I was born in Poland and have lived in the UK for the last 17 years. I am a clinical nurse, cancer coach and educator. I have been running multiple projects in and out of the NHS integrating emotional and psychological aspects to improving patients’ experience, staff wellbeing and the tools to deal with personal and global crisis. Years of working in this traumatic environment, supporting individuals and groups in crisis led me to a deep understanding of the value of immediate trauma support in a variety of settings and spawned a prison project as well as other local trauma relief efforts.

When the war broke out in Ukraine I started receiving messages from my home country Poland, from my friends, families but also from my professional colleagues. All asking the same question: How should we support others in crisis, how can we prevent trauma and post traumatic injury? how do we do it ? we cant even speak the same language? Can you share your tool and techniques please?

As I continued supporting my home community, I also noticed other colleagues who were supporting those in Ukraine and Poland affected by the war. At the end of February, I joined with Jess Mor and Moon Teitel to bring simple somatic tools for trauma relief, resilience and stabilization to aid workers, communities and refugees in Poland and Ukraine.

In May we will be heading to Slupsk Poland to provide support, education and training for their emergency services, aid workers, and communities involved with assisting the incoming refugee population. We will spend 3 months training 1,000 service providers - therapists, educators, first responders, medical professionals - who are working with Ukrainian refugees, so that they can provide acute trauma relief alongside the other essential services they are providing. We are also going to offer programs for over a 1000 Ukrainian refugees including 500 orphans providing acute trauma relief.

Our goal is that all of the service providers and refugees will experience the benefit of somatic trauma relief tools, the knowledge of how they work and the confidence and skills to continue utilizing the tools for themselves and others as they move through this most challenging time. We will teach simple to learn, easy to apply evidence based trauma relief tools, including TTT (Trauma Tapping Techniques), EFT ( Emotional Freedom Techniques), and other simple body based techniques.

We know that we all have an innate ability to recover from extreme events and that every one of us, professional and non-professional, is capable of supporting a process of global healing. We conceive that with accessible trauma education, together with the sharing of self-help and group healing tools, a helpless and powerless experience can become an empowered and hopeful one.

Image by @heatherchuter

For 5 weeks now, we have been gathering resources, creating connections and collaborating with partners worldwide to create trainings and a plan for how to bring essential trauma relief work to Ukrainians, Ukrainian refugees and humanities aid workers in Poland. So far we have:

  • compiled a database of tapping volunteers and provided TTT training to them.

  • delivered regular stress support to the staff of an international school in Ukraine.

  • collated and translated emotional first aid techniques into Ukrainian, Polish and Russian.

  • collected database of Ukrainian, Polish and Russian translators.

  • delivered webinar to ‘BADZ’, a charity in Poland, educating them on the effects of trauma and the use of TTT and EFT to bring fast relief and stabilisation when needed.

Now, we need your help to be able to provide these essential services on the ground in Slupsk. This is an incredible opportunity to make a difference on so many different layers - with one project we will support an entire community - the people who are in need, the refugees and those who are supporting them. This is an unprecedented moment and the opportunity to support an entire town of 120,000 people on so many different fronts is incredible. When we leave Slupsk, the tools and resources will be in place for the community together to move forward from this moment with the tools and resources we need to thrive.

We need funds to pay our Polish and Ukrainian translators for their time; support our volunteers with assistance for travel, accommodation, and a stipend for basic needs; print tapping for trauma relief handouts, and cover other essential running costs as they arise. We are seeking to keep the costs of the project as low as possible to deliver aid on the ground as fast as possible.

For even more information and breakdown of the costs involved in this vital project, please head over to Roots to Relief’s Go Fund Me page, where you can find out how the work is going. It is projects like these that will help on the ground where it is needed and help with healing from the trauma of the war.

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