Silsilah’s Trauma Healing Project | March 30, 2011

The Australian Embassy in the Philippines has recently approved a proposal submitted months ago by the Silsilah Dialogue Movement

to undertake a project that will address the matter of trauma healing for people in areas of conflict.

Silsilah is keenly aware that in situations of conflict some people are more seriously affected than some others. While this might not always be evident on the surface since the affected persons continue to carry out their usual activities, the traumatic experience can leave these persons psychologically scarred. In the literature such individuals are said to be suffering from “post traumatic stress syndrome”. Since in a conflict there are those seen as the “enemy” and those considered the “victims”, these perceptions become part of the trauma experienced. If there are no interventions undertaken towards healing the trauma, these perceptions will continue into the future to color relations with others, especially with those viewed as the “enemy”. These can be contributing factors to the lack of dialogue among residents in a given community, especially communities where the residents come from mixed cultural and religious backgrounds. This is of special concern for Silsilah with its goal of promoting dialogue.

The targeted areas for the project will be certain barangays in Basilan, Jolo and Zamboanga City. As conceptualized Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) will be done in situ for each target barangay and among those invited to the FGD will be leaders of the community, those who carry out governance, religious and educational roles. They will be the informants as to the prevailing situation in the locality arising from the conflict situation. The information gathered will be validated and will then be passed on to specialists in this type of work – medical doctors, psychologists, imams, pastors and priest, teachers and those with recognized parenting skills, who will design the intervention program. This pool of people will eventually be involved in the subsequent phase of the project.


A Trainors’ Training Seminar will be organized which selected barangay residents will be asked to attend as participants. They will be given the identified knowledge and skills they will need to recognize troubled individuals in the community, especially children, who are affected by trauma and to intervene as called for. Since these people to be trained are those embedded in the community, they are very familiar with community situation and can connect much faster with the residents and can situate where the affected individuals are coming from. Another advantage of having local residents with the competence to intervene and help is that they are already known in the community and a level of trust for them is already there. Trust between the persons is a very important factor in any intervention attempt. For this reason, those chosen to be involved in the project will be individuals with certain level of respect in the community, who demonstrate the appropriate personality types for the work that will be expected and who have the generosity of spirit to be engaged in the project.

The Center for Holistic Health Care will be directly in charge of implementing the project. Inquiries may be directed to the following, email: or at tel no. (062) 991-8712 loc. 104 or 991-5942 and look for Ms. Elizabeth L. Solis.

Center for Holistic Health Care (CHHC)

Promotes a holistic preventive approach to basic health care. The CHHC is an expression of care in building a Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace in our society in line with vision-mision of Silsilah that promotes a style of life guided by the spirituality of life-in-dialogue accroding to each ones’ own religion.

HOLISTIC CARE is an information material printed every after (2) months which promotes Holistic health care and gives the latest updates and activities of the center.


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