Paul Boyle is a former priest from Scotland who now lives in Nairobi/ Kenya, where he works as a therapist. “Many of the people who want to help are actually those who would’ve needed help many years ago” he says, which he also believes is the reason for many SOS mothers here in Kenia to join the SOS Children’s Villages in the first place. They have to go through an expansive and intensive training before they can officially work as SOS mothers since they have to take care of up to ten children – day and night. Paul’s “trauma workshops” are one of the key elements of the training. “If you’re around traumatized children you need to be able to cope with your own traumas.”
He has worked with more than 1,500 SOS mothers in his workshops in East Africa. “Social workers are often overwhelmed by their children’s problems”, says Paul, “or they try and run away from their own traumas into the safe and secure environment of the SOS Children’s Villages. But they have to confront their past here and reopen old wounds. So I try and create an atmosphere where trainees are in a position to deal with their past by learning forgiveness.”
Paul is amazing. He’s a very religious person and I was fascinated by his close relationship to God and how he seems to find solace in his belief. He has pure soul and for that reason alone he’s a great influence on the SOS mothers.