Antipolo – 22 young people from Bagong Silang, Caloocan participated in a training aimed at equipping them with basic paralegal skills. The youths who participated in the training are current partners of Balay in their program for torture prevention and rehabilitation of victims of torture in Bagong Silang. The group is composed of young people who have experienced torture and ill treatment from the police and young people who are not victims of torture but are perceived to be vulnerable to experience it.
Nuraida (not her real name) still remembers her slippers, umbrella, and flower pot she left behind when they hurriedly left their house in Barira, Maguindanao. She was not able to bring any of them when her family escaped from the military assault when the war between government forces and Muslim rebels erupted in March last year. Tears swell at her black eyes when little details of that tragic episode come back to her. She recalls that she was playing with her friends when the first bomb exploded in the middle of their village. But that was all what Nuraida's remembers. Her mind seems to have formed an impregnable wall that shuts off the other images about the terror that shattered their lives. She said that she is only 9 years old, but her frail body betrays her real age.
Caring for others entails some cost to anyone who is into the field of caregiving. Professionals or paraprofessionals who listen to the stories of pain, fear, suffering, anger and agony of others as consequences of a traumatic event have to contend not only with the normal stress or dissatisfaction of work, but also with the emotional and personal feelings for the suffering of others.