For seven years now, every summer season, Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), the Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP) together with Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) are offering a specialized course dubbed as “Summer Peace-Building Course” to the different sectors in an attempt to flourish the culture of peace in the communities of Zamboanga City and Basilan Province.
For this year the course has the theme “Healing for Personal and Social Transformation”, the very same theme of the Mindanao Week of Peace Celebration 2016 here in the city. At least 30 wounded individuals coming from the academe, security, women, youth, religious, Barangay Local Government Units (BLGU) and Indigenous Peoples (IPs) from this city and Basilan Province participated in the activity which run from May 3 to 6 at Social Action Center (formerly Euntes Asian Center), barangay Sinunuc, this city.
Ms. Miriam L. Suacito, the Executive Director of the Basilan-based Nagdilaab Foundation Inc. (NFI) handled the course which she had introduced several sessions and workshops related to the theme.
Ms. Suacito said that trauma has seven categories namely: Trans-generational; unconscious; multiple; accumulated; shared; chosen, and ecological. She also gave lectures on healing, reconciliation, resiliency, and debriefing.
NFI and PAZ are both consortium members of ZABIDA whose programs are anchored on peace and development.
Many of the participants of the peace course shared their traumatized experienced in life such as involving in personal conflict, loss of someone they love much, had been internally displaced, and witnessing a war.
Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF the president of PAZ said that the course is very important for Zamboanga City and its neighboring island province of Basilan, which both had been experiencing pains and discriminations for many years now.
“Healing between Zamboanga and Basilan will help remove the prejudice and discrimination,” he said. He added that the representation of the different sectors in the course can translate to solidarity an effective process “to heal the wounds,” In the end, the participants were challenged to bring the learning and skills they acquired in the training to their respective organizations who also need healings. (ALBERT F. ARCILLA/Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ)/ZABIDA)