On January 15, 2018, as Mount Mayon became increasingly restive, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, ordered the evacuation of some 75,500 residents from 39 barangays in 7 municipalities and cities in Albay, Bicol. Mount Mayon, known for its almost perfect cone, is an active volcano located in the province of Albay, in the Bicol region, southeast of Manila.
A contingent of 13 Acudetox Specialists (ADS) and volunteers from various points of the country went to Legaspi City in March 1-6, 2018 to respond to health issues and needs of evacuees in 2 of 67 designated evacuation centers.
The conduct of the community outreach was an opportunity, as well, to network and link-up with organizations in Bicol for possible NADA training sessions in the future, to serve as exposure for ADSes who joined the first time in community outreach, and to build camaraderie/solidarity among ADSes coming from different regions of the country thus strengthening the NADA Spirit.
Among the participating ADSes were three senior citizens–mothers and grandmothers as well–from Paco, Manila. Many amazed patients wondered how these old and seemingly fragile women learned acudetox and how they could manage to volunteer their services to people in distress. “It’s the NADA Spirit at work,” was their quick response.
LIGHT MOMENTS: Paco mothers (from left to right – Daisy, Mona, Fe and Cres).
Acudetox advocates from the Bicol region, including two local ADSes from Naga and Legaspi Cities, the UNTV-Bicol, Dr. Ruben Caragay, the Dean of the College of Medicine of the Bicol University and Msgr. Ramon Tronqued, the parish priest of the Tabaco Catholic Church provided valuable support to make the NADA-organized community outreach, successful. This community outreach was also made possible through the kind and generous donations from ADSes, friends and relatives.
SOLIDARITY AND CAMARADERIE: ADSes with Msgr. Tronqued.
A total of 621 patients (401 acudetox treatments and 220 magnetic beads) from two evacuation centers – Gogon Central School in Daraga and Bical, in the town of Sto. Domingo – were given treatments. The patients in Gogon were mostly from Brgy. Bogna while those in Bical were from Brgy. Lidong. The 5-point ear acupuncture treatment, known as the NADA Protocol, was administered to patients composed of 256 women and 145 men.
Magnetic beads were applied mostly to children and teens.
Most of the patients are farmers, while a significant number are teachers, local government officials and other professionals. Many patients complained of sleeplessness, body pain, mental and body stress, and varying degrees of trauma. Among other complaints were chronic diseases, bone-related cases, strokes and heart diseases. Lany Anonuevo of Brgy. Lidong, reported that 768 families (2,687 individuals including children) from her barangay, where she is the village chief, were moved to the Bical evacuation center as early as January 15, 2018. Coughs and colds were the common medical conditions of children, because it was extremely hot during daytime but very cold in the evening in their designated makeshift housing.
Three clinic days were held in two areas. During the first day, all ADSes were assigned to treat patients in the Gogon Central School, where about a thousand evacuees from Brgy. Bogna were housed. On the second and third days, the ADSes were divided into two groups – one small group remained in Gogon, while a bigger group went to Bical.
At the end of every clinic day, a feedback session was held, and on the last day, a reflection session. Synthesis and recommendations for ways forward completed the reflection session.
The daily feedback session provided patient reaction before and after treatment. Ear acupuncture is an entirely new thing for most people in the evacuation centers.
UTMOST SERVICE, LIMITLESS SMILES: ADSes at work.
Most patients were initially wary and anxious, not knowing what to expect. During the treatment, however, most patients were relaxed, while some fell asleep. A young ADHD patient, for example, stayed calm during the duration of the treatment, to his mother’s delight. He was the first to line-up the next day for follow-up treatment and encouraged more patients to try acudetox. A significant number of patients, likewise, returned for the second day for follow-up treatment.
Most of them said they felt relaxed and their stress became manageable. Many of the patients were able to have a restful, uninterrupted sleep. Some expressed willingness to complete the three-day treatment, while some regretted having missed out some sessions. Most children and teens were eager to try magnetic beads and many said that they were more focused and composed after treatment. Many of their friends came for treatment on the second and third clinic days.
The reflection session was an opportunity to share insights to this community outreach. Jao Codillo, the point-person in the Bicol outreach, said that though the whole process – from preparations to actual conduct of the community clinic, was admittedly tiring, “we should always be mindful that whatever good things we do will not result to anything bad. Keep smiling because our smiles are free, no amount of money can buy it.’
Many of the participants expressed that they were happy in being able to serve others, with two of them saying that community service is, in fact a calling from God. Many of them expressed their appreciation to NADA for the opportunity to serve and to join community outreach projects, and their families, as well for allowing them to be part of this undertaking.
Jane del Rosario, another participant expressed her insight in another way. She said, “It feels good serving others whom you do not know.” She also said that “learning is best when you do it,” which this community outreach had proven to her.
Fe Morales, one of the Paco mothers, may think that she is an ordinary person, a plain nanay. But she was quick to say that “ordinary persons can do extraordinary things,” and in her case, being able to learn and practice acudetox and give treatments in the community is an extraordinary thing.
The Bicol community outreach may mean many different things to the participants, but community outreach projects such as this, strengthen the camaraderie and the NADA spirit in them.
(Article written by Ador Ramo.)
Last June 30, 2018, NADA Philippines President Ms. Janet Paredes delivered a presentation to the graduate students at the UERMMMCI (University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Inc.), as a research colloquium speaker on the topic “Substance and Drug Addiction Detoxification and the NADA Ear Acudetox Protocol: The Philippine Experience.” Prior to the presentation, Ms. Paredes and other volunteer ADSes gave ear acudetox treatment to 40 out of 45 attendees.
The audience was composed of medical and allied medical practitioners who are students of the graduate school– MS Public Health, MS Nursing, MS in Asian Health Practices, Master in Health Care Management, MS in Health Science Education. The aim of the lecture series was to inform students about current trends as well as to stimulate potential research work in related areas.
The event was made possible through the invitation of Dr. Milagros B. Rabe, Dean of the Graduate School, and Dr. Gemiliano Aligui, Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Read Ms. Janet Paredes’ article on the ASEAN Commemorative Conference on Traditional and Complementary Medicine here.
The final publication is available at link.springer.com.All rights are held exclusively by Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature.
Noong ika-2 ng Marso 2018 ang MULTI-STAKEHOLDERS INITIATIVE FOR HUMANITARIAN ACTION AGAINST DISASTERS (MIHAND’S MAGCOT) kasama ang mga Tri-People volunteer ay naglunsad ng relief operation sa mga naapektuhang pamilya ng Tribu Teduray sa nangyaring harrassment na kagagawan ng Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) sa Mt. Firis na naging dahilan sa paglikas ng mga residente doon sa Sitio Bagong, Barangay Kabingi, Datu Saudi Maguindanao.
Nagbigay ang mga volunteers ng non-food relief items sa 18 na mga pamilya galing Firis at 61 na mga pamilya sa Makon; psychosocial treatment sa mga bata at medical treatment gamit ang ear detoxification na modality. May limang (5) ADSes ng Cotabto City na sumama. Nakapagbigay sila ng treatment sa 20 na mga kliyente. Ang anim (6) doon ay military na naging escort nila sa pagpunta sa mga nasabing lugar.
Kadalasang sakit na napag-alaman ay ubo, stress, sakit sa paa, stomachache. First time sa kanila ang ear detox at lahat ng feedback ay positibo: gumanda ang pakiramdam, nawala ang sakit ng katawan, gumaan ang paghinga, makatulog, na-relax.
Sa ngayon hindi pa nakabalik ang mga tao sa kanilang tahanan.
Launching of Our Lady of Grace Parish Pod, Caloocan City last January 24, 2018, 2pm to 5pm.
NADA Philippines gave an orientation and free treatment to 50 staff, members of the Salubong Committee, Caloocan Anti-Drug Abuse groups.
In the picture are volunteer Acudetox Specialists (ADSes) from Paco, Manila, Baragay 823–Nanay Cres, Fe, Daisy; from Culiat, Tandang Sora–Sr. Jessie Baracena, Nanay Maryjane; from AFP Reserve Command Jane del Rosario, and Janet Paredes. With the team is Rev. Fr. Jerome Ma. J. Cruz, Rector, San Roque Cathedral; Vicar General-Diocese of Kalooka; the Salubong Committee, and Ador Ramo.
“I am here with you today. Look at all the faces of the NADA people around you, and you will see my spirit, the Spirit of NADA, shining through. The Spirit of NADA teaches us that we must first allow ourselves to find that Spirit.”
Michael O. Smith in his Message at the 6th NADA Annual Forum
NADA Philippines is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Michael O. Smith last December 24, 2017 in the United States. He was a beloved mentor, compassionate friend, and generous supporter of NADA Philippines.
Every year from 2011 to 2016, Dr. Smith regularly visited Filipino Acudetox Specialists (ADSes) and graced the NADA Annual Forum. He integrated with them during community visits, observing their diversity, listening to their stories, and shared his insights. He openly expressed his joy at the empowerment of ADSes among the urban poor, farmers and national minorities resulting from the training and practice of the NADA protocol.
With his encouragement, NADA Philippines primarily focused on training non-medical ADSes in various parts of the Philippines across disaster-prone areas like Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Tacloban, Leyte, Infanta, Quezon, and reached the Indigenous Peoples of the Cordillera.
Dr. Smith was instrumental in linking NADA Philippines to the NADA international community. The support of fraternal NADA organizations has enabled NADA Philippines to grow and reach more people in need.
His profound love for the people has been an inspiration for the volunteerism and service that drives the NADA Spirit among Filipino Acudetox Specialists.
NADA Philippines will forever be grateful to Dr. Michael O. Smith, a great man. We mourn his passing with the whole NADA international community and extend our most sincere condolences to his family.
Last August 21-25, 2017, NADA Philippines, in coordination with MiHANDs (Mindanao Humanitarian Action Against Disasters), conducted the 33rd NADA 5-Point Protocol training in Iligan City. The 15 participants are locals of the area, belonging to various Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Peoples’ Organizations (POs) and are composed of the Tri-Peoples of Mindanao (Bangsamoro, Lumad, and Christians). For the training, NADA Philippines tapped Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists (ADSes) from various areas in Luzon, e.g. the Cordillera, Nueva Vizcaya, and in Mindanao, e.g. Sarangani, Maguindanao, South Cotabato. The training was conducted in response to the on-going crisis in Marawi City.
Mindanao Situationer: the Marawi Siege
Marawi City contained a population of 201,785 individuals, based on the 2015 census. It is the only highly urbanized city in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as well as the only Islamic City in the Philippines. It is the capital of Lanao del Sur, one of the poorest provinces in the country.
On the afternoon of May 23, 2017, Marawi City was under siege as gunmen from the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf, two local terrorist groups, attempted to take control of the city. Later reports revealed that the attack by the extremists was a reaction of the two groups to the botched operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to capture Isnilon Hapilon, a leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, alongside the execution of the Maute group’s pre-planned siege of the city. The terrorist groups burnt the city jail, a local college and St. Mary’s Cathedral. They robbed all the banks, occupied the medical center and other strategic buildings, and blocked the highways. By 10pm of May 23, President Rodrigo Duterte declared Martial Law in the whole Mindanao.
Thousands of Marawi residents have fled the city but an estimated two thousand still remain trapped, unable to leave due to the ongoing attacks and operations. The AFP has continuously launched airstrikes and aerial bombings alongside their combat mobilizations and maneuvers to flush out the terrorist groups. However, these operations have also razed Marawi City to the ground, and even led to the accidental deaths of their own soldiers and civilians.
As of the August 5, 2017 report of the National Disaster Recovery and Risk Management Committee (NDRRMC), a total of 446,040 individuals or 104,220 families from Marawi City and the neighboring towns have been displaced. 4,950 families or 23,647 individuals are in evacuation centers and 99,952 families or 444,056 individuals are home-based. Home-based means that the families and individuals are living with relatives or friends in neighboring cities.
In Iligan City, there are five declared evacuation sites and 17-23 host barangays for home-based IDPs. One of these barangays is Brgy. Sta. Elena, where NADA Philippines conducted the three-day community clinic from August 23-25, 2017.
More than a hundred days have passed since the start of the Marawi siege with no end in sight, and years of rehabilitation in its hazy future.
The ADSes coming from Luzon travelled by plane from Manila to the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro. From the airport, it was a two-hour travel to Iligan City, with one checkpoint near the city. In contrast, the ADS from Sarangani related that it took 15 hours of travel (from the usual 7 hours) to get to Iligan City from her hometown due to the traffic and numerous checkpoints. She counted not less than ten checkpoints, where all occupants of the bus were made to get out for inspection.
During the duration of the training, the NADA Philippines trainers and facilitators stayed at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, Inahan sa Kinabuhi Seminary Compound, Seminary Road, Del Carmen, Iligan City. The board and lodgings were arranged by Fr. James Gascon of the Center for Family Ministry, Ateneo University, and made possible through the efforts of Bishop Elenito Galido, Ms. Fe Salimbangon, and Sr. Emma Concepcion Uy, MSOLTC.
The NADA Protocol Training in Iligan City
The two-day lecture part of the training was held at the Home for the Aged in Barangay Canaway, while the three-day practicum was held at the Multi-Purpose Hall, Purok 12-G of Bayanihan Village and at the Brgy. Sta. Elena Gymnasium, which has been transformed into an evacuation center.
Some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Marawi City were temporarily relocated at the Bayanihan Village, where they are staying with relatives and friends. Incidentally, Bayanihan Village is also the relocation site for the survivors of Typhoon Sendong, which lashed the area on December 2011. NADA Philippines had also launched a simultaneous training-mission for the typhoon survivors in 2012. The patients treated at the Multi-Purpose Hall were a mix of the home-based IDPs from Marawi City and the Typhoon Sendong survivors.
The Brgy. Sta. Elena Gymnasium currently houses 244 families or 1,265 individuals, all IDPs from Marawi City. The number comprises 4.9% of the total number of IDPs in evacuation centers, and 0.23% of the total number of IDPs both home-based and in evacuation centers. The area of the gymnasium is covered from corner to corner with makeshift living spaces, with families crammed in every space available. Due to the arrangements of the place, the NADA Philippines clinicians opted to go to each living quarters to explain the protocol and to inquire if the people there would like to try it. At first there was hesitation among the IDPs but eventually, one by one they opted to try the treatment. The children were especially enthusiastic and would line up to have the magnetic beads applied at the back of their ears.
In the three-day community clinic, NADA Philippines clinicians were able to treat a total of 260 patients, 123 at the Multi-Purpose Hall and 137 at the gymnasium-turned-evacuation center. Over 100 children were given magnetic beads in both areas. The most common complaints were bodily aches and pains, headaches, fatigue and stress, and difficulty in sleeping. When the patients came back, the most common feedback from them were the easing of the aches pains, sleepiness and sound sleep, the feelings of lightness and relaxation.
Significant Cases: PTSD among the IDPs
On the first day of the community clinic at the Multi-Purpose Hall, a woman came in to ask about the treatment. One of the ADSes explained the protocol to her and just as they were to begin the treatment, she said she was going to eat first since she had not eaten yet. She left but after an hour or so, she came back. She was assigned to another ADS, who again explained the protocol, and just as they were to start the treatment, she said that she would bring her daughter first so that she can have the treatment as well. She left and then returned with her children, who then agreed to have magnetic beads placed at the back of Shen Men. However, she still did not receive treatment and again left with her children. She came back and left around four more times, and on the last time, she started sharing about her experience during that day when the Marawi siege started.
She said that on the afternoon of May 23, she and her family heard the gunmen of the Maute group telling them all to pack up and leave or else they would be holding arms as well. Many people she knew who stayed ended up dead, and the sons are forced to take arms, and the daughters are married off to the Maute gunmen. She told of how they were all rounded up in the streets surrounded by the gunmen and how they waited until these gunmen walked away before they made their escape. Her family was fortunate enough to get a van in which she, her family, and their relatives escaped from Marawi City. Her family owned a pharmacy in the city but she said she knew there was nothing left because of all the bombing. She said for five days afterwards she could not speak and she felt she was losing her mind. What she held onto to keep her sane was the thought of others before her, others who made it. But she tearfully said, “Nawala ang tulog sa akin (Sleep is lost to me).”
During the reflection at the end of each day, one of the clinicians shared how a patient complained of deafness in one ear ever since the siege started. This patient, a Bangsamoro woman, would also ask the clinician, a Christian, to pray with her as the latter put the needles on the patient’s ear. The clinician summoned what she knew of the prayers of the Bangsamoro people and prayed with the patient during and after.
Many of the patients complained of having difficulty in sleeping. After the treatment, they would say that for the first time in a long time, they felt sleepy. Sleep was coming back to them.
Survivors Turned Healers
Two of the trainees for 33rd batch of the NADA training are students from Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, both taking up Islamic Studies specializing in Shariah Law. These two trainees were also in Marawi City when the siege started on May 23, and they are currently living with relatives. One of them has a family in Marantao, a town very close to Marawi, and on the second day of the training, a fire fight broke out there, between the Maute group and civilians. Despite her worry for her family who were still in Marantao at the time, she continued on with the training.
During the practicum, these two trainees alongside the other Maranao trainees were instrumental in convincing the IDPs at the evacuation center to try out ear acupuncture. At the reflection at the end of the day, they shared how much the sight of their Maranao brothers and sisters crammed in the gymnasium touched their hearts and made them realize how fortunate they were that they had relatives and friends to stay with. The experience made them all the more determined, more heartened to do what they can to help.
At the end of the five-day training, NADA Philippines is proud to present the newest batch of Acupuncture Detoxification Specialists: Batch 33. This is the fifth batch of ADSes trained in Mindanao, after the first in Monkayo, the second in Kidapawan, the third in Zamboanga and the fourth in Lake Sebu. These new ADSes will be instrumental in providing ear acupuncture for trauma for the IDPs from the Marawi siege.
A week after the training, the new ADSes joined up with MiHANDs in their relief operations in Brgy. Sta. Elena and at Toril Evacuation Center, both in Iligan City. The ADSes reported that the patients were enthusiastic about the result of the treatments and were asking for follow-up. More missions and community clinics are to be scheduled in coordination with MiHANDs, with the hopes that more people will be treated.
MiHANDs is a humanitarian network created in 2013 during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) with 52 Grassroots Member Organizations and around 1,500 active individual members. They conducted various humanitarian relief operations, human rights and peace education and campaigns.
NADA Training in Iligan City: Continuous Appeal for Support
In coordination with the Diocesan Social Action Center Coordinator, Ms. Fe Salimbangon, and Bishop Elenito Galido, the next NADA training for the Social Action Center has been scheduled for November 27 to December 1, 2017.
We would like to again appeal for support for the upcoming NADA training for 20 trainees of the Social Action Center and workers in the parish.
We would like to solicit from you any amount you can share to make this training possible this November. We will be needing funds for airfare travel for the trainers, board and lodging and training materials for the participants. The estimated amount is Php250,000.00. For those who would like to extend their help and generosity, kindly deposit your donation to the NADA Philippines BPI Account 308-1117178 and our BDO Dollar Account with the following details:
SWIFT Code: BNORPHMM
Routing No.: 021-000089
National Acupuncture Detoxification Association Philippines Inc.
Maraming salamat po! Thank you very much!
Last May 4-6, 2017, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) of the United States of America hosted the 28th NADA Annual Conference in Wilmington, Delaware. The 3-day conference featured speakers from the US and from all over the world sharing their experiences in their work in their respective areas, bound by the theme Healing and Hope for Stress, Trauma and Addiction.
Through the assistance and support from NADA Philippines, and also through the generosity of Dr. Michael O. Smith, NADA USA President Dr. Libby Stuyt, NADA USA Board of Directors, and Executive Director Ms. Sara Bursac, a delegation composed of five acupuncture detoxification specialists (ADSes) from NADA Philippines was able to attend the conference. Present were Janet Paredes, John Joseph Posadas, Trisha Janine Sanijon, Ace Lennon Babasa and Lorie Fe Estavillo.
The first day of the conference was called NADA 101 and it opened with a welcome reception for the guests and then proceeded to a morning filled with heartfelt tributes to NADA founder, Dr. Michael O. Smith, who was also present. Among those who spoke were Sarah Bursac, Joanne Lenney, Carlos Alvarez and Nancy Smalls. Lenney, Alvarez and Smalls were the pioneers who were mentored by Dr. Michael Smith himself. The tributes were interspersed with videos on how NADA started in the Lincoln Recovery Center in the Bronx, New York. ADSes from all over the world shared their experiences working with Dr. Smith and narrated their individual learnings with him. NADA Philippines shared a short audio-visual presentation highlighting the contributions of Dr. Smith to the organization.
In the afternoon, conference attendees were invited to receive treatments from the latest batch of NADA US trainees who were completing their practicum at a nearby venue.
The second day of the conference marked the start of the plenary sessions. ADSes and NADA supporters were selected as readers who opened the conference by reading excerpts from Dr. Smith’s works, articles and other remarkable quotations. The first plenary session focused on the Delaware NADA Story and was moderated by NADA Executive Director, Ms. Sara Bursać.
Cheyenne Luzader provided a historical perspective on the changes and development in the ADS law in Delaware, David Mercier shared how the first NADA services were shaped in the state, and Barney Monks provided insight on how NADA was integrated in the treatment services in New Castle County.
In the second plenary session, the focus was on getting the word out about NADA, with Claudia Voyles, NADA U.S.A. trainer, as the moderator. The speakers shared about their experiences in bringing NADA to different areas and populations. Katurah Bryant shared how persistence pays off in getting NADA established. Dolores Jimerson shared about their experience in bringing NADA to the Yellowhawk Tribe in Oregon. Danialle Rose spoke about the grassroots outreach at Standing Rock. Stacy Sayre gave insight on the collaboration between NADA and the Medical Reserve Corps. Libby Stuyt shared about NADA outreach, education, and training in Colorado.
The third plenary session put the spotlight on the experiences of the ADSes of NADA International. Mette Wiinblad of NADA Denmark moderated the session. Adelheid Luchtrath, MD of NADA Germany shared her experiences in using NADA for PTSD among refugee populations. Rita Nilsen of NADA Norway spoke about the addiction program they established “Retretten” and how they expanded NADA into multiple health sectors.
The third speaker was none other than the NADA Philippines Board President, Janet Pimentel-Paredes who gave a presentation on how they have faced the challenges of the Philippine Drug War using the NADA protocol. The presentation included a short video tribute to Dr. Michael O. Smith and to the international solidarity, the Spirit of NADA.
To express our appreciation for all the support that NADA Philippines has received from international friends to date, NADA Philippines distributed the NADA pin that says “Healing People, One Needle at a Time”.
The fourth and last plenary session of the day focused on the question how does NADA work get funded? Denise Romano served as the moderator for the session. Cindy Jimenez shared about supporting NADA services at a community health clinic in Colorado. Sybil Marsh focused in finding staff time to sustain NADA in a methadone program in Ohio. Glynis Simmons spoke about securing NADA Acupuncture through the Ryan White Care Act in New York. Angie Smith-Butterwick shared about obtaining funding for NADA programs through Federal Block Grants in Michigan.
The third day of the conference opened with the fifth plenary session focusing on evidence-based NADA, with Ken Carter as moderator. Adrianna Barajas and Bratati Chakraborty talked about NADA Program Survey Results and shared their observations as NADA’s Social Work interns. Jessica Lee and Doug Miller spoke about merging research and clinical practice at Keystone Substance Abuse Services in South Carolina. Zara Melyan shared their research on the efficacy of the NADA protocol as studied on non-human subjects. Claudia Voyles gave a retrospective on research over the past decade.
The sixth plenary session focused on NADA at its best: Helping people help themselves. Jo Ann Lenney served as the moderator. Mark Farrington provided a view into the chronic pain clinic at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. Deb Geno shared about applying creative solutions to integrate NADA services at a community mental health program in Michigan.
The seventh and last plenary session focused on bringing NADA to communities in need, with Nikki Rodney as the moderator. Gill Croft and Rachel Peckham of NADA UK shared how they brought NADA into the Wider Sphere England.
Phillip Millerov and Bob Storrer gave insight on a grassroots training approach in keeping the Spirit of NADA alive in low-income and underserved communities. Lars Wiinblad of NADA Denmark shared about their training approach and how facilitated NADA growth in Denmark, from employment unions to workforce centers.
The conference concluded with the conferring of NADA ADS certificates to the NADA US trainees who completed their practicum.
Insights and Learnings
The delegation from NADA Philippines found the opportunity of attending a conference hosted by another NADA community a rich and rewarding experience, not only from the plenary sessions but from interacting with ADSes from NADA US and from the international community. One issue that stood out was the difficulties that ADSes in the US experienced because of the restrictions raised by their federal law. But through the very act of sharing of experiences by these ADSes—which included not only the obstacles they had faced, but how they had overcome them—the best practices were also shared which would be hopefully replicated in the other states.
Another insight that was gained by the NADA Philippines ADSes was the similarity of the struggles between those of NADA international and of NADA Philippines. In particular was the struggle of the indigenous peoples in the US, with the problem of accessibility to basic health and social services, and the limited opportunities afforded to them, which echoes the problems faced by the indigenous peoples in the Philippines, and also highlights the significance of training these people—not only the indigenous peoples but also those that belong in the marginalized and vulnerable sectors—as a way to empower them and also for them to help their respective communities.
One of the most striking things about the conference occurred even before it started, in the morning when ADSes from all over the world paid tribute to Dr. Michael Smith. The strength of the emotion and gratitude was palpable in the room on that morning and continued on to be felt during the conference and after. Dr. Michael Smith’s role was not just of a founder of an organization, but also of a guiding spirit who encouraged people and organizations to blossom in accordance to the needs of their respective environments.
Much of what had been shared in the conference had been the unique experiences of the ADSes from all over the world. And yet, these unique experiences are woven together to form a tapestry of unity of those that share in the Spirit of NADA. It is not only the ADSes who take part in it, but those whose lives have been touched in one way or another as the NADA Spirit is shared in practice. A sense of community, of camaraderie, of family was felt in this gathering, united by the work that everyone is doing in sharing the NADA Protocol in their respective areas.
NADA Philippines ADSes with NADA International ADSes.
The Spring 2017 Issue of Guidepoints, the official newsletter of NADA, is here. It features NADA Founder Dr. Michael O. Smith’s Message to NADA Philippines, which was delivered by NADA Philippines ADS Ramona O. Wantin during the NADA Philippines 6th Annual Forum last February 25, 2017.