SeP facilitates trauma healing training in Batouri/East region-Cameroon, June 2017
SeP has facilitated a community trauma Healing workshop in Batouri. The workshop was organized by CRS Cameroun, within the Livelihood and Protection Support Program, using the Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities model being implemented by the Central African Republic and the Congo since 2014. The workshop brought together twenty eight participants including 20 men and 8 women (9 refugees, 9 host community members, and 10 CRS/CARITAS staff). It was facilitated by Florence Ntakarutimana from CRS/CAR and Dr. Ndi Richard Tanto, a Peace and Governance Expert and Director for the Ecumenical Service for Peace (SeP) in Cameroon.
The objectives of the workshop were:
- To help people to recognize and understand trauma
- To help people to know how to deal with trauma
- To help people to know that life continues after a traumatic event
- To help people to reconnect themselves to their communities
The main theme treated were :
Session I: Introduction to trauma, its definition, its causes and symptoms
Session II: The consequences of trauma
Session III: Loss, Grief, and Mourning
Session IV: Active Listening
Session V: Identification and management of traumatic emotions and Anger Management
Session VI: Building Trust
The training method was participatory with emphasis on brainstorming, group work, sketches and role plays, personal reflections, experience sharing and plenary discussions.
While the first day of the training focused on understanding the concepts, the second day was essentially devoted to sharing experiences of trauma. The third day was devoted to strategies to come out of trauma.
A very important place was given to sharing of experiences. Participants were given time to pay tribute to their losses and share about traumatic events they have gone through. The objective was to combat the feelings of isolation that many participants expressed after experiencing trauma and help participants understand the commonality of their experiences.
At the end of the training, the key lesson learnt was that even if trust is somehow lost or not easy to find in many people because of the history of hardship, it is still possible to build trust in one another, brief, there is still hope.
At the end of the training, participants shared what they had learned and what they liked about the workshop. Many of them testified that it was an opportunity for personal healing and acquisition of skills to help others: “If you see joy and smile in our eyes and faces on this last day of the training, it was not like this before. No medicines swallowed but healing assured; it’s amazing. None will go back home the way he came”, says Parfait Nwame a Mougnol, CODAC Supervisor in Nyabi.
“A big change happened in us. We will live the word, we will shine the light and all will see it. The seed sown here will grow like the tree of trust that we learned and all will eat from its fruits”. says Suleiman the representative of the refugees.
At the end of the training, participants made the following recommendations to CRS:
- Make trauma healing a sustainable program within CRS Cameroun
- Organize a training of trainers (ToT)
- Organize trauma healing workshops in different communities affected by violence
- Organize workshops on conflict transformation
Mrs. Dorothy Madison-Seck, the CRS Cameroun Country Representative honored the training with her presence. She thanked and encouraged the participants to be the light in their communities. He promised more of such trainings in the communities.
Dr. Ndi Richard