July 22, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Caritas Sierra Leone has provided the necessary financial support to the Archdiocese of Freetown to embark on an intensive training of Pastoral and Psychosocial Counselors from Ebola effected communities in Freetown.
The three-day training, which commenced yesterday at the Santano House on Howe Street, brought together participants from the different parishes across the city, as well as other Ebola-hit areas.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, the organisation’s National Executive Director, Edward Bull, stated that the essence of the training was to provide the necessary skills needed so that participants would be able to assist those that have been traumatized as a result of the deadly Ebola virus.
“We have thousands of homes where people have lost their mothers, fathers and relatives to the Ebola virus disease. The lives of many have been shattered as a result of the Ebola scourge,” he said and underscored the difficulty in supporting those affected psychosocially.
Mr. Bull revealed that the training would be done in all the four dioceses in the country, with the one in Makeni in the North completed last week, while urging participants to put into practice what they would be taught during the training.
Also, Archbishop of Freetown, Tamba Charles, stressed the importance of the pastoral and psychosocial counseling, noting that the traditional support system has been weakened because of Ebola.
“We are serving as the auxiliary body to help those weakening institutions to start functioning again. There was an initiative of trauma healing after the war,” he said and called for support because according to him, everyone was presently traumatised as a result of Ebola.
Madam Joyce Kamara, who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, commended Caritas for the support and urged participants to make good use of the training by helping those affected by the disease.
She revealed that the ministry has already developed a training manual for psychosocial counseling, as well as a Mental Health Psychosocial Strategy and Alternative Care Policy.