Trauma is a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems.It is also a state of shock in the body or spirit.People inrespective of faith or any form of identity do experience trauma .Either as victims of conflicts,accidents or when something terrible happens..
Since people can be traumatized during and after every conflict,there is the need for trauma experts or counselors to help victims to overcome their shock.It is a known fact that human being by nature have a share of spirituality and many trauma victim yearn for spiritual healing after their experience but social workers concentrate more on providing food,clothing,medical and educational needs without doing something about their spiritual needs.
One reasons that do scare many of these groups from making efforts to provide spiritual trauma healing is the fear of abused of religion which could be misinterpreted as a deliberate planed to convert the victims especially where the trauma victims are not of the same faith with the trauma counselors .And there has been allegations that some social workers do turn their roles into doing evangelism by proselytization.
Participating in today’s session on The Positive Role of Religion in Peace Building led by Joseph G Bock and listening to the various arguments for and against the need to have spiritual trauma healing programs for victims of conflict that are traumatized, I strongly subscribe that development workers should not be afraid to carry out spiritual trauma counseling to victims as long as they do it in an interfaith manner and with counselors from both faiths.This will douse any form of suspicion associated with Spiritual trauma healing.Organisations that are working in conflicts areas should have as part of their team interfaith trauma counselors to help the victims overcome their spiritual trauma because spiritual trauma healing helps stabilize the victims faster than many other provisions or assistance that they may get.Therefore Peace Builders must not be afraid to give this practice a trial for the benefit of the victims they are out to help.
I recalled in May 2012.Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammed of Jordan ,Chairman Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought and Rev Dr Olav Fyke Tveit,the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches made a joint visit to kaduna Nigeria to meet with victims of Nigeria 2011 post elections violence.Their key message was the need for collaborations between different faiths when they want to visit and Support victims of religious conflict.This kind of collaboration will challenge victims to appreciate religious collaboration.Similarly trauma healing programs for victims should be an interfaith approach.When victims of different faith coming out of conflict see that the peace organizations that came to help address their trauma challenges have interfaith composition, this will help and encourage them to appreciate and begin to work with people of other faiths .It is always clear that if Muslim come to a conflict zone and attend to only to Muslim,while Christians come to attend to only to christians ,the victims will not see and learn the beauty of living together.Trauma victims too will not overcome their trauma since they will still have fears and doubt about care givers that are not of their identity Group.
Since all victim of conflict suffer some forms of trauma,let us work together to remove anything that will constitute biased practice and help them overcome their trauma problems.