We have started the facilitators’ training to initiate the Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) movement in Eastern Visayas. Eighteen (18) Christian leaders — pastors, educators, civil society executives — have completed the first two components of the PAR Facilitators Training last 04-06 February 2014 held in Ormoc City. The completed parts of the training program for Metro Ormoc area are as follows:
- Day 1: PsychoSpiritual Counselling and Trauma Healing Processes
- Day 2: Disaster Risk Reduction
- Day 3: Post-Disaster Response
They will soon complete a third component in March which is the Peace and Reconciliation Training
This program, which is done in partnership with Mennonite Church Canada, Mennonite Central Committee, the Philippine Evangelical Disaster Response Network, and the Peace and Reconciliation Commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches is a part of a series of training given to 50 pre-qualified pastors and Christian leaders in various cities and municipalities in Samar and Leyte. It has three components:
Component 1: PsychoSpiritual Counselling and Trauma Healing Processes
The Circle Process Approach. This provides a culturally-sensitive process in debriefing pastors. Professional and trained debriefers are facilitating this process and a series of questions will be asked to help the participants express their emotions, fears and hopes. The Circle Process provides a safe space for everyone to express their vulnerability, but also process their aspirations as individuals, family and church leaders. Having been debriefed, these pastors are expected to become psychologically-fit to provide stress debriefing to their church members and their respective neighborhoods in the barangay.
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) Training. This is a training for the pastors on how to conduct stress debriefing among their immediate community and barangay neighborhoods.
Component 2: Disaster Risk Reduction and Post-Disaster Response Training
Disaster Risk Reduction Management Training/Trauma Awareness and Resilience (S.T.A.R) Training. This training enables participants to identify risks or threats prior to the onset of a calamity; thus helping them prepare and reduce disaster risks. Furthermore, this helps them become aware of the presence of trauma following a disaster and helps in their recovery, development of capacity, and coping mechanisms.
Post-Disaster Response Training. Participants are taught how to seek and network for support from the Social Welfare and Development and other relevant government offices and access other services for additional support, i.e. livelihood program. Also, using the Do No Harm Policy, participants are taught how to provide relief services, reducing the risk of conflict.
Component 3: Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Training
This training will be conducted three months following the DRR and Post-Disaster Response Training to further equip Christian churches with skills necessary in dealing with intra- and inter-organizational conflicts. This will also be the best time to monitor and evaluate the replication of the first two training conducted in various churches. The PAR Training is composed of three books:
- Biblical Foundations of Peace and Reconciliation
- PeaceBuilding Skills Development
- Community Development Principles and Practices
The participants are carefully screened to ensure their ability and commitment to teach their constituents and to replicate the skills they learned in this program. The 50 pastors and Christian leaders in Eastern Visayas have made a prior commitment to use their local resources in training their own church members. It is expected that each of these 50 pastors and Christian leaders would be able to mentor at least 4 volunteers – that’s 200 in total – to actively participate in DRR, post-disaster response and trauma debriefing.
We, at PBCI, will do our best in our training and consulting work so that the Christian leaders in the field will have the capacity to respond rapidly, efficiently, and effectively during times of calamities that frequently strike these provinces.
OUR CONSULTING AND TRAINING TEAM FOR THIS PROGRAM
Disaster Risk Reduction, Post Disaster Response
Joseph is known among pastors and Christian leaders in the Philippines as an effective leadership development teacher. He’s ‘Boyet’ to his family and friends. He completed his bachelors degree in Development Communications and masters degree in Development Management from the University of the Philippines. He currently serves as Director for Transformational Development at the Asian School of Development and Cross-Cultural Studies (ASDECS).
Asked about his perspective of our connections as human beings, he said: Where ever we are and regardless of what we are into, we share the same heart – created in God’s image – with innate value and dignity as human being. Our lives are joined together and we share each others’ joy as well as pain.
PsychoSpiritual Counselling and Trauma Healing Processes
With her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, Benette has various experiences working with children. She was once a SPED teacher, a freelance psychometrician in a Family Court in Quezon City, and a member of an organization working with children at risk. Bennette has been living and working in Manila for more than 15 years. Now, she has decided to serve in Mindanao where she was born, the place she considers home. She leads a group of student volunteers called the University Peace and Reconciliation Team.
Asked about her motivation for returning to Mindanao, she said: “My heart goes out for the people in Mindanao especially the victims of armed conflicts—children and youth alike. May the Lord extend his arms through me, to let them know that they are not alone in their struggles, that they are loved by the Heavenly Parent, the God of peace.”
Peace and Reconciliation Community Organizing
“Kriz is an excellent research staff,” commends a professor at the University of the Philippines. “I would definitely hire her again.” At the very beginning, we invited Kriz to help us start a new kind of peace advocacy. She immediately grasped that what we’re building — a shalom community that also does what many NGOs do. Kriz’s creativity helped us develop the two-pronged features of our office system–support operations and field operations. We consider her as a fellow-pioneer at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc.
Asked why she joined a small peace-building outfit like us instead of joining a big international NGO: I think working with PeaceBuilders Community is not just about employment. It’s about learning and growing up spiritually, mentally, socially, culturally and emotionally.
Finance and Logistics
Sherel started as our Bukidnon Field Assistant. We noticed her technical skills in keeping financial accounts and setting-up the electronic equipment before small meetings and big events. We also noticed her creativity as expressed in digital arts. At the end of her one-year contract in Bukidnon, her team leader recommended that she be transferred to our Davao City office.
Asked how she looks at her tasks at PBCI: “We’re telling a story–the Shalom Story. God created me as I am, with a purpose. I may be playing a small part in the Story, but I am part of this Big Story. God designed it that somehow, the Story would not be complete without me. In God’s eyes, I’m important. I want to live and use my gifts and skills for God’s glory. I want to tell everyone, through my arts, that they are part of God’s Story.”