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02/23/2023 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – ICC recently conducted a trauma training session for students in Pakistan who have suffered trauma and persecution due to their religious beliefs. This training helped equip participants with the knowledge needed to establish a social support group, create a work-life balance, and implement measures to mitigate trauma within their families and lives.

“We hide our religion portion in our resume to avoid rejection. We don’t get jobs easily if we reveal our identity no matter how qualified or capable,” said another participant. “We are constantly made to believe that we are impure, dirty, infidels in one way or the other by our peers, neighbors, colleagues, and friends. They don’t drink and eat with us.”

The participating students were able to learn about the issue of trauma and its impact on people as well as develop personal coping strategies. Many of the students surveyed had a high level of stress and trauma. Together, in a safe environment, they were able to share their experiences.

“We are intentionally kept distressed, disadvantaged, and vulnerable at all levels. We don’t have any status in society. We face unethical behavior from our law enforcement agencies,” one student said. “We are discriminated on the basis of our faith, color, events, rituals, and dress code.”

One interesting note was that many of the participants believed that some of the issues they were experiencing in their lives could be attributed to a plan by God. Female students shared that they often face gender inequality in their own families from parents.

“Our parents start looking for our matches for marriages instead of focusing on our careers. They prefer if the match is from any foreign country or aged with wealth as they want to secure other siblings’ careers at the cost of our choice,” said another participant.

Male students expressed the weight they feel to hold it all together for their families despite the challenges they face.

“We don’t feel pain, we don’t have emotion,” one participant expressed.

By the end of this trauma training session, participating students had become more informed about issues related to trauma, had better coping mechanisms to rely on, and understood ways in which they can support one another when it comes to mitigating issues within their families or daily lives.

The trauma-informed therapist that was conducting the two-day sessions observed, “The meditation aspect of the training was overwhelming for all. Each one expressed their thoughts. There was a group who felt connected with their loved ones, and felt serenity, peace, calmness, joy, a divine touch, and felt spiritually connected. Some participants were overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit and burst out with past trauma. They released energy which was trapped for years.”

Generation Transformation students gained the knowledge, confidence, and awareness of the impacts of direct trauma exposure, and became empowered to explore and utilize prevention strategies to increase their resiliency to future persecution.

This crucial training helped many students be better equipped to face the challenges that come with being a minority in their culture and future workplaces.

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