Chinese New Year is a time we enjoy reunion with loved ones and welcome a new start, but for the children and caregivers in separated families, that reunion seems so unreachable. Please join us in offering them support – your donations can allow us to help them to heal their family traumas and restore relationships. Your help can support our work that aims to guide these families to overcome their pain and bring new hope to their lives.

Healing separated families and restoring bonding

‘Now I am always grateful for being able to greet each new day with my sons. If there hasn’t been the guidance from The Salvation Army, my family might still be living in dire straits today,’ said the mother of Chun (alias) as she looked back to the old days.

Due to the disagreement in parenting method, Chun’s mother separated with her husband. She took care of her sons by herself, who were both young and with special needs. At first, she thought she could play the roles of both mother and father, but the boys had emotional issues one after another. Chun, the older son, was full of rage and did not trust others as he had witnessed his father’s abandonment and experienced his father’s abuse, while his younger brother missed his father; their difference in attitudes towards their father has made them argued a lot. They did not open themselves to outside and lashed out at their mother when they got emotional, causing a lot of conflicts and quarrels among the family. Their mother was particularly stressful in taking care of them, and she felt guilty because it seemed that her decision of separating with her husband has hurt the boys. The mother and sons were in great tension, finally leading to a breakdown of the mother, who felt so hopeless.

In 2019, the three of them joined ‘The Love-athon@Home’ project, an enhancement project from The Salvation Army Kowloon City Family Support Centre, and started to find ways to restore their family relationship. When social workers from the Programme first visited their home, they found the atmosphere was unsettling. The older son was so lack of trust and anxious about strangers that he shouted at social workers before, but at the same time he was eager to get in touch with other people. Their mother was also tense and sensitive. Social workers worked with the boys with great patience through counseling and game therapy, guiding them on how to handle their sentiments towards their father and to relief emotions. These achieved great results as Chun has shown improvement in emotional intelligence and his brother has become willing to share his thoughts with social workers. Social workers also helped Chun’s mother to re-evaluate her relationship with her ex-husband and the change in her role as a caregiver. They helped her to work with the relationship with her sons and get rid of the guilt. The wounds of all three healed gradually and together they moved forward and adapted the new family life.

‘We three are family and we are one,’ Chun says this to his family from time to time. The brothers have built strong bonding with social workers, and they started to open up and make connections with outside. Their mother has become more cheerful and confident, having the courage and certainty that she can handle the new life. This is not an easy process, and is ‘a miraculous transformation’ according to Chun’s mother. The family is confident that they will support each other and move forward with courage.

The Salvation Army is here for the separated families going on their healing journey, helping them to heal wounds, restore relationships and make a new start.

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