Introduction to Peer Counseling for Persons with Disabilities Workshop Seminar of Iloilo
July 25-26, 2012
ASEC, D' Alzon Formation House Bo.Obrero Lapuz, Lapaz, Iloilo City
Last March 2012, I received again an application of Grant Project Proposal for Independent Living (IL) Project from APNIL through my friend Abner Manlapaz of Life Haven Independent Living Center Manila, and I convinced the Board of Trustees of my association, Association of Disabled Persons-Iloilo Inc. (ADP-I) to apply and to lead the said project. And we agreed to form a “Introduction to Peer Counseling for Persons with Disabilities Workshop Seminar for Iloilo Provincial Federation of Differently-Abled Persons (IPFDAP)” since some of the participants are also the participants of “Orientation of Independent Living Workshop Seminar in Iloilo” last April 16, 2010 at Iloilo Grand Hotel.
I was thinking to continue Independent Living Programs (ILP) such as “Peer Counseling for Persons with Disabilities” since that last November 2009 Ms. Naoko Ito of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Non-Handicapping Environment (NHE) Project invited me in the municipality of New Lucena, Iloilo with Abner Manlapaz to conduct two day “Peer Counseling Workshop Seminar for Persons with Disabilities (PWD)s of New Lucena and I want to do it again here in Iloilo City and Province.
After few exchanges of ideas and negotiations last March at last the Asia- Pacific Network of Independent Living (APNIL) and center of Independent Living (CIL) Human Care Association of Japan approved our project proposal.
But due to our changed administration in ADP-I and the tight schedule of our resource speaker Mr. Abner Manlapaz the said seminar was scheduled on July 25-26, 2012. And also because of 1st Regional Congress of Persons with Disabilities of Region 6 (VI) or Western Visayas (includes Provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental) as a part of the main celebration of National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week from July 17 to 23, everybody was very busy on the said event and after that the IPFDAP had a Oath Taking Ceremony for its newly elected official scheduled on July 26, 2012 so the leaders that will be the participant in the “Peer Counseling Workshop” are having the conflict in the said schedule of the said seminar instead they designate it to their second in line and we invited also the other NGO PWD Organizations such as Cerebral Palsied Association of the Philippines-Iloilo (CPAP-I), Breaking Barriers for young Persons with Disabilities (BBY) and also some members of ADP-I who never had experience this said seminar and we gather twelve participants out of this Disabled People's Organization (DPO)s.
The Program started with “Who Am I Workshop” where the participants including facilitators formed into a circle and shared with the guide of the following questions:
Each participant shared about themselves and experiences as persons and their difficulties for having disabilities, these workshop encourages the participants to be open to one another by talking and listening.
Next was the “Empowerment” before the proper lecture, each participants had the part of the puzzle for them to solve and they do not have an idea what is the form of the puzzles. (The puzzles were human shape and each body parts contain 11 positive empowering attitudes such as;
And it has been cut out and each facilitators had taken one body part secretly, the aim of this workshop was to let the participants know that the puzzle was perfect and complete like us PWDs some body parts are not present or functional but as a “Person” there is something in us that can compensate that missing part in our body.) After the workshop I lectured about the importance of Empowerment to Peer Counseling. After the “Empowerment” I lectured about Peer Counseling
And also I had a lecture on “Basic Idea on Peer Counseling” which I explained to the participants the very essential thing for Peer Counseling such as;
Two Main Purposes in establishing Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPO)
Then my colleague in CBR Core group Ms. Analyn Porras lectured about the “Fundamental Ideas of Implementing Peer Counseling” which she explained the importance of Creativity, Wisdom, Love, Joy and Spirit of Solidarity in the life of each PWD and also it had a workshop which the participants had a“Role Play” based on;
Then I gave a lecture regarding on “Human Relationship” on Peer Counseling importance of “Friendship” among PWDs with;
And all of these were based on LOVE
I gave the day to Mr. Abner Manlapaz as our resource speaker and he started to review the participants by asking the “purpose of Peer Counseling” then he discussed the “Roles of the Counselor and the Client” and he conducted a session with 90 seconds of an alternate “counselor and client” roles after that he asked each participant what do they felt during the session.
And he explained the importance of “Emotional Release” and how could help the person to express whatever feelings he or she had inside in various situation he or she is in those times of event.
Also he discussed the following:
He conducted another session and a “Group Counseling” and used the “Keywords and Terms of Peer Counseling” he also discussed the importance of creating a “Support Group” in Peer Counseling. And also he discussed Independent Living Program (ILP) with presentation and presented some video clips for it.
As I observed the said workshop seminar was not reached its peak due to some factors such as;
1. Time and Schedule the participants had a conflict to attend the said seminar because we consider first the availability of the speaker
2. Language Barrier both the participants and the resource speaker had a difficulty to express and reach the exact idea because of the different dialects (Ilonggo and Tagalog) that we used.
3. Enforcing to use our “Local Resources” we did not know our capacity how to handle the program and the availability of resources to have Independent Living Program (ILP)
But still we are thankful that this workshop seminar was able to happen despite of these factors, this proves that having CIL and ILP here in Iloilo Province are possible.
Mark F. Espesor
Former Duskin Trainee (7th program)
Association of Disabled Persons-Iloilo Inc. (ADP-II)