June 27, 2012
For over 7 years, Healing Streams has provided hope & healing to victims of war living in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Canada. On September 30, 2012, Healing Streams will be closing its doors. Why?
- On one hand, Healing Streams has accomplished its mission. A significant core of 600 front-line workers has been trained in trauma-recovery counselling skills in war-torn DRC.
- An additional 80 community development workers who are directly involved with counselling victims of rape and sexual violence have received advanced counsellor training.
- Together, these trainers and front-line workers have been equipped and empowered to continue the work of transforming lives and communities.
In another sense, our work had just begun.
- In Canada, we had begun to raise the awareness of the needs of refugees in our midst. In particular we were facilitating dialogue between refugees and the communities who support them on topics such as wellbeing, mental health, and cultural adjustment.
- Other countries were seeking the support of our training teams.
So why are we closing? It comes down to resources. While Healing Streams was rich with professional service providers, loyal supporters, and a dedicated board, we didn’t have the capacity to raise the funds to continue operating.
So it is with mixed feelings of celebration, sorrow, and hope that we close this chapter.
Board member Kathy Belicki provided this fitting illustration at the board retreat where we made the decision to close.
A few years ago, Kathy and her husband bought a farm in Bruce County. The previous owners had planted three trees that were better suited to city landscapes than wind swept Bruce County.As Kathy and her husband watched these trees struggle, the time came when one had to be chopped down. To their surprise, the next spring vigorous green shoots appeared at the base and today this new tree is more vibrant and healthy than the others in the yard.
As the Quaker’s say, “When one door closes, way opens.” What vibrant new shoots will replace the space that Healing Streams once occupied?
For the next year, you can keep in touch with us via our Healing Streams Facebook page. Board member, Brenda Ben, and her husband Michael will be posting about their new business venture with scholarship recipient James Kataliko and we’ll post other updates occasionally as well.
We are so grateful to each of you for your support over the years. Your continued financial support to the end of August will help us meet our ministry commitments in DRC.
We hope you too have been transformed by this experience and you will continue to support other grassroots organizations that transform lives!
Dawn Penner, EdD
p.s. A note from James Kataliko, bursary recipient:
Thank you again to Healing Streams. You healed my life educationally and spiritually.But I am human. It is very sad to me. You know, Healing Streams was my second family. I have many good Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers and friends who supported my studies.I will take time to pray God tomorrow for all you done for me and my country DRC.
Greetings to all. God bless you all.
Congo has had a long history of conflict and is the poorest country in the world. The war in Congo has been called a war against women. One woman is raped every minute. Researchers estimate that over 400,000 women are raped every year*. Women are often rejected by their husbands. Communities splinter as villagers flee the atrocities.Healing Streams engages community leaders and equips them with the understanding and skills needed to bring healing to their communities.
Canadian Refugee Program
Canadian settlement workers have identified mental health support as a significant gap in service for newcomers from war zones.
As a professional training organization, Healing Streams provides support to the settlement sector, community groups, and refugees through consultation and training.
MSCU Peace Grant
Healing Streams is honoured to be the 2012 recipient of the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union Peace Grant to continue our new Canadian Project, “Journeys of Healing and Empowerment: Supporting the Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being of Refugees”.
Click here to read about the project description, rationale, and how it advances peace building.
Click here to find out about upcoming workshop dates.
Healing Streams supports the university training of medical workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo through its bursary program.