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CFC Project ReForm Reaches out to Marawi evacuees, soldiers
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Aside from counselling drug users who have surrendered under Oplan Tokhang, the volunteers of CFC Project ReForm also helped counsel families displaced by the recent war in Marawi, as well as the soldiers who fought in the war. 


Almost 70 volunteers from Iligan, Zamboanga Sibugay, Davao City, Ozamis and Pagadian attended the Project ReForm training held from October 20 to 22 in Iligan City. After the training, half of the volunteer counselors travelled to Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur, a municipality less than 10 kilometers from Marawi, to minister to about 100 individuals affected by the siege. The other half conducted counseling sessions to inmates in the Iligan City Jail and the local rehabilitation center.When the first group reached Saguiaran, they were again split into two groups, with the second group tasked to do stress debriefing at the Marawi Provincial Capitol for PNP Special Action Forces (SAF) and Philippine Army soldiers. By that time, the military were already mopping up operations and were due to return home that week.


The experience was something new for the counselors, since the primary intention of Project ReForm is to provide counseling to drug surrenderers. However, because of the unique situation in Iligan City, the CFC leaders of the province believed that the evacuees and the soldiers who fought in the war in Marawi also needed to be ministered to.


Two weeks after the Project ReForm training in Iligan City, the program conducted another training for volunteers from Metro Manila from November 10 to 12. The participants were a combination of CFC leaders and non-CFC volunteers. After the training, the group proceeded to the V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City to counsel the wounded soldiers who were recuperating at the military hospital After the training, half of the volunteer counselors travelled to Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur, a municipality less than 10 kilometers from Marawi, to minister to about 100 individuals affected by the siege. The other half conducted counseling sessions to inmates in the Iligan City Jail and the local rehabilitation center.


When the first group reached Saguiaran, they were again split into two groups, with the second group tasked to do stress debriefing at the Marawi Provincial Capitol for PNP Special Action Forces (SAF) and Philippine Army soldiers. By that time, the military were already mopping up operations and were due to return home that week.

 

 

The experience was something new for the counselors, since the primary intention of Project ReForm is to provide counseling to drug surrenderers. However, because of the unique situation in Iligan City, the CFC leaders of the province believed that the evacuees and the soldiers who fought in the war in Marawi also needed to be ministered to.


Two weeks after the Project ReForm training in Iligan City, the program conducted another training for volunteers from Metro Manila from November 10 to 12. The participants were a combination of CFC leaders and non-CFC volunteers. After the training, the group proceeded to the V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City to counsel the wounded soldiers who were recuperating at the military hospital.


According to Noel Deang, CFC Project ReForm Coordinator for Visayas and Mindanao, the soldiers appreciated the gesture extended by the volunteer counselors. Aside from stress debriefing, the group also prayed over the wounded soldiers. It was truly a time for healing, not only of their physical wounds, but also of their emotional trauma because of the war.In Iligan, the volunteers committed to continue ministering to the families affected by the war. Aside from CFC leaders and members from the Family Ministries, the first CFC Project ReForm training in Mindanao also had in attendance workers from the local government, medical volunteers and counselors from Hope Givers, a conglomeration of civilian volunteers working for the rehabilitation of Marawi victims.With an expanding territory in terms of people who need healing, there is now a greater need for volunteer counselors for CFC Project ReForm. (Alma Alvarez)





 

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