Trauma affects many of us. Over the summer, several members of the Arcadia University community traveled to Rwanda to participate in a facilitator training for Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities (HROC). The model was created to help respond to the numerous violent conflicts that devastated the region in the mid-1990s. HROC is funded by the African Great Lakes Initiative, a Quaker organization. The program activities help people recognize and understand trauma and the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), learn skills to recover from trauma, and re-connect with community members to rebuild their society.
This August, HROC hosted its second annual international Training of Trainers in Rwanda. Arcadia undergraduates Jacob Waldron and Courtney Wilkinson, graduate student Hannah Simon-Girard, and Adjunct Professor Dr. Bill Jacobsen attended this summer's Training of Trainers. Adjunct Professor Barbara Simmons also attended basic workshop.
Jacobsen was a member of the training team, facilitating more than 20 participants from Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and the United States. The training was held in the western-most city of Gisenyi as well as in Kabari, a small Rwandan village three hours outside the nation's capital. Attendees spent three weeks living in close quarters amidst members of the local community. With the village's proximity to the border of the DRC, training participants met both survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and some who continue to be impacted by the ongoing regional conflict in the Congo. Attendees had the opportunity to hear powerful stories of survival and guilt from community members who are still continuing to rebuild their society.
Register for Training
This fall, Jacobsen and Dr. Amy Cox, Interim IPCR Academic Director, who attended last year's training of trainers, alongside Waldron, Wilkinson and Simon-Girard, will offer the HROC basic workship at Arcadia. The training is open to any interested members of the Arcadia community as well as to the public. The program is strongly recommended for but not limited to practitioners and students of social work, psychology, public health, healthcare, international studies, peace and conflict resolution and nongovernmental organizations.
The training will take place Friday, Nov. 9, from 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the 3rd floor of Taylor Hall. General admission cost is $150; student admission cost is $100 (*scholarships may be available). For any workshop inquiries, email HROCWest@gmail.com.