Our ESD (Empowerment Self-Defense) initiative is gaining traction, as interest among orphanages is growing!



Third time around, ESD classes were given for staff, management and social workers at the Nové Strašecí children’s home – compliments of C4C!

Author: Petra Erguvanli

You may recall our previous article about ESD, in which we introduced this originally Israeli concept of self-defence, as well as its promoter in the Czech Republic, Linda Štucbartová.  The overwhelmingly positive resonance we received, after the initial workshops in the children’s homes in Unhošť and Ledce, made us decide to carry on with this meaningful initiative.

This time Linda headed to the children’s home in Nové Strašecí, where C4C organized another workshop for the educators and social workers. Also in attendance was the director of the home, Alexandr Krško. This workshop differed from the first two, as it focused on internal issues and conflicts in children homes, rather than on external self-defense.

The participants were divided into two groupseducators, who were interested in how to effectively prevent, or defend themselves against, attacks from children, both physical and verbal, or how to stop a fight between the children themselves. The second group comprised social workers and management who wanted to learn how to deal with heated situations that arise in meetings with the parents of the children in their care.

Unfortunately, this does happen, parents are often aggressive,” says Alexandr Krško, director of the children’s home. “Sometimes we even have to call the police. We have definitely learned a lot of things here that will be useful in practice, such as preventing problems, preparing in advance for potentially difficult meetings and finding time to share not only with the children but also with other colleagues.”

Both groups learned about the five principles of ESD (think, shout, fight, run and share) and also learned some soft defence techniques, such as how to enter a children’s fight by blocking the view of those involved.  These techniques are not physically demanding and by nature de-escalatory.

The workshop lasted 4 hours and Petra Erguvanli, the coordinator of the cooperation with children´s home at C4C, was pleased with it:

The meeting was tailored to prevent the difficult situations that staff and the management of the homes frequently encounter. It is important to address these issues with them and also provide training tailored to their specific needs. Because a happy educator equals a happy child,” she smiles.

Linda was happy too: “I am glad that I was able to support the collective staff of the Nové Strašecí children’s home. The cooperation with them was excellent. I admire their professionalism and willingness to work hard to create the best educational conditions for the children. They do not have it easy at all. I can imagine that the night duty governess herself might be worried about a fight between the teenage boys. Or, there could be an escalatory argument with a parent who becomes aggressive in a fit of temper. It shows, how the concept of ESD is accessible to all, because it doesn’t just build on physical skills, but is very much about prevention and de-escalation.”

At C4C, we believe that what children and adults have learned so far in the workshops needs to reach as many people as possible,” Petra adds. “So we decided to start to train ourselves so that we can continue to share the ESD technique with more children and staff in the near future.”

And we’ll be sure to write about that too 😊