Peer Counseling Activity Report From The Philippines

3 Days IL Peer Counseling Seminar Workshop for Patients with Disabilities at Philippine Orthopedic Center in Manila, Philippines

Life Haven and SCI Foundation conducted Peer Counseling Seminar Workshop at Philippine Orthopedic Center last September 12 to 14, 2007. The seminar workshop, funded by Toyota Foundation of Japan, introduced Independent Living Philosophy and Peer Counseling to patients who are about to be discharged. 14 rehab patients participated during the first day. We were fortunate enough to have six participants finish the three-day course the others were unable to do so due to reasons beyond our control. The seminar workshop is geared towards formation of support group of peers to enable patients with disabilities to accept their new situation and face life with self-determination, thru self-choice and take self-responsibility.

We intend to continue this noteworthy project to contribute in the preparation of newly-disabled persons to live independently when they return to their families and live in the community.

IL Peer Counseling Program:
Day 1: Sep 12 Conducted by:
13:30 13:45 Reception
13:45 14:00 Opening & Orientation Abner Manlapaz
14:00 14:30 Self Introduction/Building relationship Joon Baltazar
14:30 14:45 Break
14:45 15:30 IL History Joon Baltazar/Abner Manlapaz
15:30 16:30 IL Philosophy Joon Baltazar/Abner Manlapaz

Day 2: Sep 13
13:30 15:15 What is Peer Counseling? Jun Bernandino/Abner Manlapaz
15:15 15:30 Break
15:30 16:30 Nature of Human Being Abner Manlapaz/ Jun Bernandino
16:30 17:30 Discharge of Emotion Jun Bernandino/Abner Manlapaz

Day 3: Sep 14
12:00 13:00 Hosted lunch party
13:00 14:00 What is Disability? Jun Bernandino/Abner Manlapaz
14:00 15:00 Support Group Abner Manlapaz/ Jun Bernandino
15:00 15:15 Break
15:15 16:00 IL Program Jun Bernandino/Abner Manlapaz
16:00 16:30 Appreciation Abner Manlapaz/ Jun Bernandino

Feedback from the Participants:

In the evaluation form that submitted by the six participants who were able to finish the whole workshop, the seminar topics were generally clear to them although there are some topics that the participants suggested that the leader should provide more explanation or example for better understanding.

In general, the participants commented that they gain confidence talking to other people and that the workshop help them on their self-confidence. It also helped them accept their disability and their rights as a person. One commented the value of living in the community and having good relationship in the community people. One participant commented that he value each day he joined the group because the workshop helped him value life as a human being.

When asked about their recommendations that we need to consider to improve our next conduct of seminar workshop, one suggested that we should give reading materials during lecture while one person suggest that we continue to conduct seminar workshop so that more persons will understand peer counseling.

Evaluation from the Seminar Leaders:

The philosophy of IL is fresh for the participants and most are very eager to have deeper knowledge of the concept. Resource person should also be flexible for more meaningful presentation. Since the participants are all patients of the hospital, their disability is new to them and their interest may still be about recovering their life back from their former life. The leaders should become the source of information about disability and how they can live independently in the community with dignity and contentment.

There are 14 participants during the first day and only 6 of them completed the seminar workshop. Because of several reasons, the group assessed that it may be too long for them to sit on their wheelchair developing the backache and therefore prohibits their full participation. In the final analysis, the group will take into consideration on the next seminar workshop about possibility to shorten the period of the seminar workshop and to provide a more convenient place like possibility of participants to stay in the bed during the seminar.

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