In November 2013, the Red Kite Project and HHI teamed up to provide trauma and conflict resolution training for staff in HHI partner shelters.

Red Kite Rising, a division of Red Kite Project Consulting Inc., joined with HHI in winter 2014 to provide a martial arts program with a mission to empower children through the practice of trauma-informed martial arts healing. Red Kite Rising staff were able to provide training to children in the shelters, following the post-conflict reconstruction model, focusing on interpersonal communication and systemic violence. The exercises and forms used during classes for the children involve soft defensive postures mixed with fluid movement to empower the children to decrease anger and increase positivity, self esteem and self control. The many benefits of martial arts help the children to rise above their challenges.

“We at Red Kite Rising have been inspired by the experience at Jane Addams Place. According to Guillame Stewart, director of J.A., there was a 100 percent drop in fighting at the shelter within the first few months of our intervention. While we experience moments of chaos, complete with meltdowns from the younger kids, and a real struggle for attention between the older youth, we are frequently astounded by the participants’ ability to shift from survival mode to engaged thinking mode. The program works because youth feel empowered, have an opportunity to shake off their survival chemicals and find ways to resolve conflict without violence.”

— Sam Stone, Red Kite Rising program director