Community Building and Healing – HROC

This is an inclusive community-oriented program designed to address the multiple barriers and unmet cultural and service needs of the local Refugee population. Based on innovative and recovery-oriented approaches, the program focuses on alternative ways of healing, learning and community-building in an effort to support refugees foster a healthy and productive life in their host communities.  These efforts include the following initiatives:

The HROC Basic Workshop is fun and highly interactive. Each workshop has 20 to 25 participants who commit to attending for all three days. Participants are invited by a local organizer.

On Day 1, participants join in community-building activities and discuss the benefits of sharing information about themselves and their burdens. They also discuss basic information about trauma: its definition, causes, symptoms, and consequences.

On Day 2, participants discuss good and bad ways of listening, as well as loss, grief and mourning. Participants share about and honor their losses. These might be the deaths of loved ones or experiences that affected them deeply. Because of chaotic conditions, participants may not have been able to mourn their losses earlier. The workshops encourage them to share their experiences with others who may have had similar losses. Participants also discuss phases of grief and how to help themselves and others heal.

On Day 3, participants discuss constructive and destructive ways to handle anger as well as how to build trust both at personal and community levels. There is usually a shared meal on each day of the workshop, plus games and other fun activities.

What is HROC?

  • Participants devote three days to learning about and beginning to heal from trauma, something they might not otherwise do
  • They learn how they, their families, and their communities will benefit from healing
  • People from different sides of conflicts and different backgrounds learn that all have suffered
  • HROC relies on the wisdom of workshop participants; lectures are kept to a minimum
  • Participants have a chance to grieve and honor their losses
  • HROC is accessible to people of all educational levels, including people who are illiterate
  • It’s fun! It uses games, music, and food to lighten difficult topics
  • It’s community-based – the program builds leaders in the communities in which it works; community members make effective facilitators as they draw on shared experiences

Follow-Up and Advanced Training

HROC helps rebuild communities by developing grassroots leadership. If resources are available, follow-up gatherings and Community Celebrations are held so participants can re-connect and share post-workshop experiences. Celebrations also encourage buy-in from community leaders. Participants who show an aptitude and interest may attend a Healing Companions Training for roughly five days. Healing Companions are trained to listen compassionately and guide people through the personal trauma healing journey. Healing companions help reduce isolation and build peace in their communities. Workshop participants who are gifted leaders and presenters may attend a 3-week HROC Facilitators Training.  In this intensive training, participants study all aspects of the Basic Workshop in depth, then co-facilitate a Basic Workshop under supervision.