Church groups train to aid drug war victims in Philippines
Counseling course seeks volunteers to help heal those suffering from
This picture taken on Jan. 5, 2017, show relatives crying as coroners carry the body of an alleged drug dealer killed during a drug buy bust operation in Manila. Church and human rights activists have attended a counseling training workshop in Quezon City to help relatives of victims of the government’s anti-drug war. (Photo by Noel Celis/AFP)
Church and human rights groups in the Philippines held a counseling training workshop on March 11 to help families of victims of the government's anti-narcotics war.
Close to 8,000 suspected drug user and dealers have been killed in the campaign.
"Listening is very important when interacting with people with trauma," said Father John Era, head of formation at St. Vincent Seminary in Quezon City.
The priest, who has experience in counseling, facilitated the workshop for some 25 church and human rights activists who are involved in helping families of those killed in the government's intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
Father Era said the "mere presence" of people who are willing to help families who lost their loved ones will be more effective if they have the skill to understand the situation of the victims.
"Listening is powerful in healing victims of human rights violations," said the priest, adding that the church plays a big role in healing trauma.
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