Trauma Healing Training in South Sudan’s Yei Diocese to Foster Forgiveness: Facilitator

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The workshop on trauma healing that the Catholic Diocese of Yei in South Sudan organized in collaboration with Mission Aviation Fellowship aims at fostering repentance and forgiveness in the East-Central African nation, a facilitator has said. 

Speaking at the start of the three-day workshop on Monday, August 8, Thomas Titus Bazia said the training also seeks to foster peaceful coexistence amid experiences of conflict and trauma.

“We are here for the peace and reconciliation training in Yei teaching people about peace and reconciliation especially on trauma and healing, how people will forgive, repent and ask for forgiveness from each other, '' Mr. Bazia said.

He added, “This training will also help different ethnic communities come and live together peacefully as one community after the conflict that had happened between them.”

“Most of our people are wounded in their hearts and spirits, because of the trauma and the problems they are going through, this training will help them to recover and forget the past things,” Mr. Bazia said during the event that brought together fifty participants.


He continued, “We all know what the country has been through, especially the civil war in the then Sudan and the one in South Sudan itself in 2013 and 2016; very many people have lost their lives through difficulties.”

“The trauma of what they have experienced still remains in their minds, '' he said in reference to participants in the workshop, and added, “This training will help them to focus on their next (work) in life because they are likely to forget what happened.”

Speaking at the same event, Fr. Joseph Arike encouraged those participating in the workshop to put behind past happenings and foster friendship.

“I am advising you not to put your attention to what had earlier happened because if you recall what has happened you will not be able to be stable,” Fr. Arike said.

The Parish Priest of Christ the King Parish of Yei Diocese added, “This training is important for our different communities because we have faced many problems related to the tribal and ethnic conflict that are occurring daily in our society.”

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“It will also help bring us together as the people of God in our places and the South Sudan at large,” the member of the Clergy of Yei Diocese said, and added, “We have fought for so many years and the wound from this conflict still remains big in our hearts.” 

He emphasized the value of the three-day workshop that concluded on Wednesday, August 10, saying it can facilitate healing from past bitterness.

“If we put in our hearts and minds that each one of us wants to be a peacemaker by calling for peace and forgiving someone who wronged us, we will be able to stand together.” Fr. Arike told the participants, and continued, “If we are pointing our hands at each other that this person is bad then we will not move forward because our road to forgiving each other is rough.”

The South Sudanese Catholic Priest encouraged the participants to make good use of their time during the workshop, saying, “My brother and sister, let us take this training seriously and whatever we are going to preach after this training should start from our hearts, to the community and the country at large.”

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.