Table of Contents
- Strengthening AFAD’s Unity…
- Years of Trials and Triumphs…
- NO political reform, NO hope for justice…
- Hunger Strike
- Indonesian Human Rights Movement…
- Crime and Punishment
- Anti-enforced Disappearance Bill
- A Life That is Never The Same Again
- Kashmiri families of missing person stage…
- Disappearances in Sri Lanka
Report on International Lobbying
- A Narrative of Contrast
- Where are They?
- Working Towards an African Network
- Reduced to Ashes: The Insurgency…
Mid Year Report
FIND Conducts A Series
of Rehabilitation Activities for the Elderly
by Jennifer S. Pacursa
The Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)-Philippines conducted a series of therapy sessions for its elderly members with ages between 65 years old and above. Part of its holistic rehabilitation program for the families of the disappeared, these activities were done in cooperation with the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) through the financial support of
Evangelischer Entwcklungsdienst e.V. (EED) based in Bonn, Germany.
The program implementation was done in the Visayas and and Luzon.
Facilitated by FIND’s Welfare and Rehabilitation Committee, the rehabilitation activity held on June 2-5, 2003 in La Castillana, Negros Oriental was first conducted among 16 elderly members from the areas of the Visayas, e.g. Cebu, Iloilo, Leyte, Sagay, Panay and other areas of Negros Oriental. After which, a four-day rehabilitation session was conducted in Laguna, Southern Tagalog among 10 elderly members of FIND, most of whom are parents of disappeared persons.
During both activities, self-awareness discussions and workshops that centered on the “Tree of Life” focused on the psychological and emotional situation of each individual. Moreover, self-enhancement exercises to improve self-esteem as well as relaxation and meditation techniques were taught.
To note, the elderly members of the disappeared continue to suffer from the psychological and emotional trauma brought about by the loss of their loved ones. Exacerbating their difficult situation is their continuing poverty and deteriorating health. To respond a bit to such a situation, FIND conducts rehabilitation activities in an effort to pick up the pieces of the disintegrated lives of the families of the victims.
A wife of a surfaced disappeared, Mrs. Primitiva Manog said: “ I saw the remains of my husband cut into pieces.” Traumatic experiences like this are equally being suffered by hundreds of other families of the disappeared in the country.
Thus, it is intended that such activities be sustained to respond comprehensively to the continuing rehabilitation needs of the families of victims of involuntary disappearances.
KontraS and Ikohi Launch Series
of Rehabilitation Activities
KontraS and Ikohi of Indonesia conducted a series of rehabilitation activities for the families of the disappeared in Indonesia. This is made possible through the financial support of Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst e.V. in Germany.
One of the first series of rehabilitation and educational activities was conducted on July 24, 2003 in Solo, Indonesia from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. Dyah Sujirah, wife of disappeared person and famous Indonesian artist and poet, Wiji Thukul, in cooperation with Ikohi,
KontraS and AFAD, organized a big gathering of the whole community in Solo, Indonesia where she resides. To note, after the disappearance of her husband a few months before the ouster of Suharto in 1998, she and her 2 children have been branded as subversives and political opponents of the state by the very community where she lives, which resulted in her family’s isolation. Such isolation has compounded the already intense emotional, psychological and economic trauma brought about by the loss of her husband.
The event was a breakthrough. Aside from being attended by some 200 people within the community, it was officially sanctioned by the local government head. He himself welcomed the event and gave due honor to one of their citizens who disappeared. The highlight of the event was a video presentation depicting the life of the disappeared, with live footage of his poetry and arts. Such presentation was aimed to inform the community members that contrary to their belief that Wiji Thukul was an undesirable person as alleged by the military, he was a man of service to his fellow Indonesians.
Ikohi, KontraS and AFAD representatives who graced the occasion delivered solidarity messages to the family of the victims and to the community members present during the event. Words of gratitude from the family were delivered by Dyah Sujirah to culminate the event. The most important thing for the concerned family was the overwhelming support of the families of the victims who were able to witness the video presentation. While the community members said nothing during the event, having witnessed the presentation was enough for them to know that their co-residents in the community need their acceptance, understanding and support.
The other families of the disappeared in Indonesia, who are associated with Ikohi, suffer the same predicament. For which reason, more activities of this kind will be launched in the next weeks and months to come. It is an effort to make whole again the disintegrated lives of the families of victims of this most cruel form of human rights violation.
VOICE September 2003