"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation." - Pearl S. Buck
Rapha is Greek for healing. We are fashioning the ‘house’ concept to acknowledge multiple needs being addressed by an integrated approach. It has become increasingly clear to us that we are incompletely addressing the needs of the youth who are “at risk” of succumbing to the numerous negative environmental factors found in the urban community. We have found that there are usually multiple areas within these youth in need of intervention simultaneously. In addition to enrichment activities, many require academic support, job readiness education, re-entry support, substance abuse treatment, as well as parental and family counseling. While the overall belief structure is uniform throughout our “healing house”, different issues are addressed within the different rooms of the house. This provides for an individualized approach to each youth within a uniform context.
This context involves positive pro-social interaction with committed caring adults as opposed to the all too often anti-social negative adult associations found in the community. We believe that if youth have the opportunity to heal personally and spiritually from chronic trauma they will become healthy and productive individuals who make better life decisions and are committed to the health and wellbeing of their communities. Our model creates an environment within the community where these youth live that fosters emotional and physical safety. This allows for trust among peers and also between staff and youth. This also allows for the self-reflection that can lead to personal healing as well as physical and spiritual development. Within this nurturing environment we believe youth can be educated as to the nature of functional versus toxic choices. These decisions and commitment will lead to better choices, which will drastically reduce negative outcomes.
The main focus of primary Rapha House programming is internal healing through artistic and cultural expression. Recreational and cultural activities are treated as extended learning activities to develop the social and emotional well being of the youth.
Rapha House exists to reverse the effects of violence and history of social injustice, by building a new community of healing and hope, which brings about life giving choices.