PULSE often talks about the concept of ”resilience”. In the Gira guide, resilience is defined as the ability to recover from setbacks and difficult experiences and relates to a quality in Gira that is strengthened after she joins the field band.
For Gira the presence of a safe space builds resilience. The field band is where she meets caring adults and friendly children and experiences what it is like to master something through playing music together with others. This helps strengthen her self-esteem and gives her a support system. In short, Gira gains a positive force in her life that makes the hardships easier to handle.
In the Gira package, PULSE defines six factors that helps Gira deal with her challenges in a healthy way:
- Seeking help and support: The field band, through a social officer, is offering home visits to members. This means that if a field band member is experiencing problems at home they have someone in their life whom they can ask for help.
- Feeling in control: Gira gets to choose which instrument she wants to play when joining the band. She also decides for herself that she wants to join, and subsequently if she wants to attend practise. This gives Gira a choice, and responding to that choice tells her that she is in control of her own life.
- Finding things that makes her happy and relaxed: being able to keep a positive outlook and not becoming overwhelmed by a difficult situation is important. Gira finds something she enjoys doing in the activity of music and dance. This gives her joy and takes her mind off her problems for a while.
- Close and trustworthy people around her: the tutors, PO’s and other band staff has a very important position in the field band as role models. Through being friendly, stable and supportive adults, they give members someone to look up to, and someone to rely on.
- Mastering something new: aquiring and mastering a new skill strengthens self-esteem.
- Finding positive meaning in her life: where Gira can rely on the adults in the field band to be there for her, the field band is also counting on Gira. She has her own tasks in the band and her contribution is important for the overall picture. This provides Gira with a place to be, and a sense that she matters.
Every person has some degree of resilience and some ability to overcome hardships. A safe and supportive environment that encourages a positive outlook on life can contribute towards greater resilience.
Many members of the field band has a story like Giras, where various problems they have at home or in life becomes easier to handle through a positive force. And it is noticed in the community too: a principal we recently spoke with at one of the schools where a field band operates says he always encourages his students to join the field band because he has seen that the pass rate on exams has gone up for the students who are also field band members.
For many, resilience built through contact with positive and supportive surroundings is the difference between being overcome by difficult circumstances, and excelling despite of it.
Written by / photos by Ine Nord