February 22-26, 2021
7:00-9:00 p.m. Hong Kong time
ICF is holding its first Thematic Workshop in 2021. In “normal” situations, before the pandemic, ICF held Thematic Workshops with 15-20 young people from different religious traditions in a specific country. The ICF alumni, those young people who have attended the ICF-initiated activities, helped in organizing the Thematic Workshops on the national level. During the pandemic, ICF organized and held these workshops virtually, and opened these to participants from other countries and the public.
The political, economic, and cultural difficulties that many countries, especially Asian countries, have become more glaring when the COVID-19 pandemic set in a year ago. The pandemic seriously threatened people’s health as many lost their livelihood. The infections of millions have overburdened the health care systems all over the world. As of January 19, the COVID-19 disease has infected more than 96 million people. Around 68.6 million have recovered, but 2.04 million people died. Stress, anxieties, and trauma beset the families, friends, neighbors, and even non-acquaintances of those who died and the infected. The pandemic even complicated the situation of trauma as cases of violence against women and children increased during lockdowns. Some government’s incapacity and militarist response to the pandemic also added a burden to the mental health of the population.
ICF’s concept of peace is holistic. It encompasses the well-being of people that is at the intersection of the economic, political, cultural, physical, and spiritual dimensions of life. Considering the context of pandemic and other traumatic events that come with it, ICF provides, through this thematic workshop, a venue albeit virtual, for young people to talk about Mental Health and Trauma Healing in Peacebuilding as people, in general, are still experiencing this traumatic event until today.
“Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life. Unlike commonplace misfortunes, traumatic events generally involve threats to life or bodily integrity, or a close personal encounter with violence and death. They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe.”
–Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, New York: Basic Books (1992), 33.
We need to learn how to constructively address, cope, and become individuals that are more resilient. In this way and in the process, we can help bring about healing in faith communities, societies, and ourselves.
In light of the above, ICF seeks to lay down the following objectives for the virtual thematic workshop. During the sessions, the participants will be able to –
- articulate their experience and understanding of a traumatic experience;
- explain basic definitions and theories of trauma and trauma healing;
- describe the importance of trauma healing in the context of peacebuilding, and
- gain introductory insights into some skills to address one’s trauma, (and perhaps other people’s trauma too).
Who can participate in the Virtual Seminar?
ICF welcomes anyone who is interested to join the Virtual Seminar-Workshop sessions. The interested person, however, needs to inform ICF ahead of time. ICF will send the invitation and link to those who signify their interest.
Those who wish to join as regular participants will be required to join the February 23 and February 25 group discussions on the resource person’s inputs, and readings. They will also submit reflection papers after each session with the resource person and are encouraged to do small and doable projects that make use of the lessons gathered during the Virtual Workshop. As an incentive and support for those who complete the five-day meetings, ICF will shell out reimbursements for the internet connection expenses after the week.
To register either as a regular or non-regular participant please select below and fill out the registration form until the 12th of February:
Session Schedule and Resource Person
The sole resource person for this virtual workshop is Dr. Al Fuertes, an Associate Professor at George Mason University, Virginia, U.S.A. He specializes in psychosocial trauma healing as an important component of conflict transformation. Since Virginia, U.S.A. is in a different time zone, the session will be at 7:00-9:00 p.m. Hong Kong Time (6:00 – 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time).
|February 22 Mon – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.||February 23 Tues -7:00 – 9:00 p.m||February 24
Wed – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
|February 25 Thurs – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.||February 26 Fri – 7:00 –9:00 p.m.|
*Topic 1: “Making Sense of Our Journey in this Time of Pandemic”
*Topic 2: “Acknowledging the Manifestations of Stress and Trauma due to the Covid19 Pandemic on Various Levels and Facets of Life, and Exploring Ways of Coping”
|*Topic 3: “Religious/
Community Workers and Compassion Fatigue”
“Taking Care of Our Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Face of Uncertainty: Why Is It Important?”
Topic 5: “Creating Healing Spaces in this Time of a Pandemic and Beyond”
|*Topic 6: “What Sustains Us? What Keeps Us Going?: Exploring Individual and Societal Resilience During Pandemic”
|*Topic 7: “Turning this Pandemic into a Catalyst for Change and Transformation”
* Group Discussion and Feedbacking on the whole process