Pat Cane and George Horan, the Capacitar Afghanistan team, are currently collaborating with the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APV) in Kabul. Pat and George are facilitating wellness workshops for high school and university youth, for street children attending the APV school, and for the APV women’s sewing cooperative. Along with the workshops, Pat and George also offer individual counseling sessions for many of the youth.
Besides the stress of preparing for school exams to qualify for universities (Concord and TOEFL exams), the youth also deal with poverty, family challenges and the threat of ongoing violence in Kabul. Some of the youth in the Capacitar workshops have witnessed suicide bombings and attacks. A bomb went off last year in front of the family shop of one young man. Several students were at the American University last August when a car bomb exploded and militants overran the campus. Many students were injured and 13 persons died in this attack.
At one Capacitar workshop some of the students described how they were unable to focus and concentrate on their studies. Others shared how they felt hopeless after losing their friends in the university attack and experienced the destruction of all that gave them life and hope. The Capacitar trauma healing practices are of great value to help the young men and women manage their stress and heal traumatic memories. Capacitar is committed to continue walking in solidarity with APV and the people of Afghanistan.
In 2005, we responded to Hurricane Katrina by putting together this kit of simple basic practices for immediate use to help people deal with challenging situations, such as natural disasters, violence or chronic stress. Since then it has been translated into more than 20 languages and used in countries after tsunamis, earthquakes, floods and areas of ongoing conflict.