Darany* heads to CCT’s Community Centre for breakfast each morning before going to his traineeship in motorbike repairs. With learning a trade has come a sense of hope for the future. The young teenager also eats lunch at the Centre every day and while there, he treats teachers and students with respect.
But this wasn’t always the case.
Before starting his traineeship Darany was disruptive in class and spoke rudely to teachers. This was not the only cause for concern — he was also violent and tried to create a gang to control the other children. Teachers did the best they could to understand why he was acting out and to talk with him about his behaviour. However, it wasn’t until meetings between CCT teachers and social workers were set up to discuss specific cases and collaborate on finding solutions that the situation started to improve.
CCT Social Worker Chandara said the meetings were critical in creating awareness of Darany’s background and the reasons he was behaving violently. He grew up surrounded by domestic violence, with a mentally ill father and uncles. His mother left to Thailand and he hasn’t seen her since.
Darany and his brother, who CCT also supports, now live with a foster care family.
“Darany was copying the behaviour he’d seen growing up and treating people in the same bad manner,” Chandara said.
“It was very difficult to find out his needs and goals but after long conversations, it became clear that he wasn’t interested in studying English and computer technology, despite our efforts to motivate and encourage him.”
Each month between 20 and 30 teachers and social workers get together for one hour to discuss techniques and find solutions for managing specific students. Community Centre Coordinator, Lout, said that often their misbehaviour stems from problems they face at home and trauma they have experienced.
“They might be acting violent, disrespecting teachers or disrupting class,” he said.
“By coming together we can determine the best course of action in responding to these misbehaviours and create a plan.”
“For Darany, this plan involved home visits and counselling, discussing his needs and opinions and finding compromises and helping him see that his actions would only lead to a difficult future.”
Since starting the traineeship his attitude has improved dramatically. Now when Darany goes to the Community Centre, he “is much more friendly and respectful and listens to the teachers.”
*Name changed to protect privacy.