by Gemma Dalayoan
The Innovative Cultural Approaches in the Prevention of Elder Abuse (ICAPEA), a joint project of the Knights of Rizal and the Manitoba Filipino Teachers Inc. (MAFTI) has gone beyond the fulfilment of its goal of raising awareness on Elder Abuse by collaborating with the Partners Seeking Solutions and the St. Raphael Wellness Centre in training 10 selected Filipino seniors to become Peer Helpers of co- seniors who are victims of all kinds of abuse. These Peer Helpers completed eight weeks of intensive training for three hours every Wednesday from 10:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. under Lynn Crawford of the Peer Seeking Solutions and Milli Khan of St. Raphael Wellness Centre from May-June. Among the skills learned were: listening empathically, keeping divulged information confidential, good interpersonal relations, good communication and other skills related to dealing with seniors. These trained Peer Helpers had their graduation on July 4, 2011 at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM) at 5:00 p.m to 7:30 p.m. They are now not only Peer Helpers to Filipino Seniors but also for other senior peers in Winnipeg.
These trained Peer Helpers will link seniors needing help with social workers, Age and Opportunity staff, police, and other government service providers to alleviate their abuse-related situations. Most of the Peer Helpers were former scientists, teachers, agriculturists, nurses, accountants, and social workers.
ICAPEA is still collaborating with the Partners Seeking Solutions and/or Age and Opportunity office in organizing a system where seniors needing help can access the services of these Peer Helpers.
Among the guests who attended the graduation were: Doug Martindale (MLA for Burrows), Mike Pagtakhan (Councillor of Point Douglas Ward), Craig Mcquire (Ralph Wellness Centre), Art Miki (president of Asian Heritage Week), and Deb Kostyk (Coordinator of Partners in Seeking Solutions).
Dr. Tom Colina, KOR Western Canada Area Commander, Gemma Dalayoan, MAFTI president,and Councillor Mike Pagtakhan delivered their congratulatory messages to the graduates .
About 100 attendees were present. The event was emceed and coordinated by Jean Guiang, O.M, ICAPEA Project Coordinator. Other ICAPEA team members included: Sir Felino de Jesus,KoR Winnipeg Chapter Commader, Sir Mohammed Ali, Sir John Gano, Carrie Barroga and the late Rev. Dr. Neil Parado, former KoR Western Area Commander . Former Minister of Western Diversification, Dr. Rey Pagtakhan moderated all workshops held at PCCM. Regina Ramos Urbano evaluated the project that was submitted with Dr. Colina’s final report to the HRSDC Federal office.
Sir Tom Colina, Gemma Dalayoan, ICAPEA project leaders and team members express their gratitude to the New Horizons for Seniors under the HRSC of the Federal government for funding the project; to Ang Peryodiko, Filipino Express, Filipino Journal, and CKJS for their announcements and coverage; to the different senior associations that participated in the project including the Police, Age and Opportunity, Partners in Seeking Solutions, Gambling & Alcohol Addiction (Manitoba), Seniors & Healthy Aging Secretariat, the facilitators, recorders, actors of the play, PCCM, Knights of Rizal and MAFTI members, program participants, and all who generously gave their time and talent to make the project a success.