Lightshine partnered with the government of Baja California Norte (Mexico) to host an international conference for child care professionals.
October 2018 in Baja, Mexico more than 300 delegates attended from Europe, the Middle East, China, Central America, Mexico and the U.S attended the Lightshine conference focusing on developing resilience to heal trauma. Some who attended work for governments or humanitarian organizations such as World Vision. Most delegates work in Baja’s 80 plus orphanages. A variety of professions were represented: Psychologists, social workers, attorneys, government officials and foster parents (who provide daily care).
The conference featured two experts: Dr. Niels Rygaard (Denmark) and Dr. Rafael Gonzalez-Vizoso (originally from Spain).
Dr. Rygaard is a child psychologist with more than 30 years experience working with orphans, is the author of a text on attachment disorder. He provided insights on how childhood traumas (e.g. abuse, violence and severe neglect) hamper emotional and neurological development. Niels covered topics of ‘causes’ and ‘cures’ for emotional damage in children, also responding to the ‘tough questions’ posed by the caregivers of children marred by violence.
Dr. Gonzalez is an emergency medicine physician, trained in the U.S. (Harvard). Rafael grew up in Spain. He shared practical encouragement to institutionalized teens on how to choose a path of resilience. He also teamed with Dr. Rygaard to present insights on how to heal children (and adults) from emotional damage and abuse.
The 3-day conference provided a blend of expert instruction from a psychologist and a physician with opportunities for participants to ask practical questions at the end of each session. The event also provided informal time for key professionals and decision makers to consult with both doctors about ‘best practices’ for institutional care.