The Healing Lands Project is seeking to raise $21,504 to fund a June 2018 river trip. This amount covers the outfitting cost for 12 children in the ACASI program as well as the amount needed to facilitate travel of their caregivers transporting the children to Flagstaff, Ariz. from all across the state. Funds will also be used for orientation and caregiver counseling before the trip.
Healing Lands is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations go directly to the Healing Lands Project account managed by the Northern Arizona University Foundation.
Healing Lands seeks to utilize the beauty and serenity of a wilderness river trip to bring healing to children and adolescents who are victims of family violence and have lost a parent to intimate partner homicide. These children often lose both parents simultaneously, one to homicide and a second to incarceration or suicide.
According to Department of Justice statistics, approximately half of all homicides in the Unites State involving a female victim are perpetrated by a domestic partner. This is the worst kind of family violence and it impacts approximately 3,000 children per year.
ACASI is one of the few programs in the nation that provides comprehensive services to this vulnerable population of family violence victims. The caregivers who assume responsibility for the children after the traumatic event are often relatives who are also experiencing grief. Their stress is compounded by new and
The Healing Lands Project supports wilderness experiences for juveniles served by the Arizona Child and Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI). A program of Northern Arizona University's Family Violence Institute, ACASI provides direct services to children and adolescents who’ve lost a parent to domestic violence homicide. Healing Lands is a new initiative of FVI to engage ACASI children in the outdoors by combining therapeutic services and wilderness adventure on a clinically supported river trip. We believe nature offers an opportunity to child survivors for healing not available in clinical settings.
The Healing Lands Project hopes to launch our program’s first healing journey with a San Juan River trip in June 2018. This will be a 5-day expedition for 12 children in the ACASI program along with four staff members from the Family Violence Institute. The trip will be guided by Grand Canyon Youth.
Activities on the river will be aimed at engaging these youths who have experienced extreme family violence in opportunities for connecting with place as well as with their peers and counselors. The five days on a wild river will give them the rare opportunity—perhaps the first in their lives—to enjoy the natural world and its healing powers. The days will be mostly devoted to river travel and hiking aimed at developing leadership skills, confidence and camaraderie among the participants, There will be therapeutic peer support sessions in the evenings held at the campsite.
© Photo by Whit Richardson
potentially overwhelming demands of parenting an additional child. Meeting the basic needs of these children is sometimes all the caregiver can do. The aftermath of the traumatic event in conjunction with financial burdens makes wilderness trips unattainable.
Healing Lands seeks to bridge this gap because we believe a multi-day wilderness experience is potentially an effective and life long method for addressing trauma.