The Asian Recovery Symposium is an annual event conducted by the founders of the 'Columbo Plan Bureau' ; an international NGO based in Sri Lanka's capital city, Columbo. It is a pioneer organisation within the cluster of de-addiction support organisations in Asia. Its primary goal is grouping,co-ordinating and strengthening all efforts against substance addiction and its treatment.
Two of our trainee peer-support counsellors, Mr. Goverdhan Joshi and Mr. Sanjeev Kodan (who are both recovering addicts) travelled to Pakistan to attend the seventh annual 'Asian Recovery Symposium'. Our keen trainees were delighted to recieve this chance to embark on a fantastic learning experience. They were highly optimistic that this event would be a gem-of-an-oppurtunity to expand on their knowledge regarding substance addiction counselling for the recovering induvidual.
Hundreds of ex-addicts, advice & support professionals and trainee counselling personnel from South and South-East Asia gathered in the capital city, Islamabad to take part in a weekend-long conference, series of talks and educational seminars from the 12th - 14th April 2014. The event's main focus was geared at raising awareness of the destructive impact of active addiction, the individual's transition into recovery and the wealth of support strategies a recovering addict can encounter to strengthen and maintain a clean and serene life.
The Symposium hosted a range of activities such as one-on-one 'meet & greet' sessions with professional support workers with years of valuable and extensive experience in the field of recovery. Our SHAFA team met with the leaders of the event and remarked how focused and determined the organisers were to ensure the A.R.S would be a fruit-bearing success for all attendees.
The event also hosted counsellor training seminars wherein our very own Mr. Sanjeev Kodan was an active and conscientious participant. As a counselling ambassador representing SHAFA HOME, he expressed how "these sessions gave light upon a variety of useful and implementable tools to construct a healthy relationship with the recovering addict so that the counsellee would be able to trust his/her counsellor, openly share their fears and apprehensions and trust their counsellor to give reliable and pertinent advice.
The 7th A.R.S also involved members' individual speeches regarding their own journies into recovery. Our Mr. Goverdhan Joshi brought his own addiction & recovery experience before the eagerly attentive hall. He eloquently spoke of his own harrowing life in active addiction , his courageous transition into recovery and how he met with the helping hand of SHAFA HOME's team of dedicated and unconditionally supportive counsellors. He went on to add "how important it is to face life's challenges head on without dissolving into feeling overwhelmed and admitting defeat...each sober day is a resounding success and miracle. This triumph must be recognised and celebrated because life in recovery is God's gift.
All-in-all, this was a smashing experience for our trainees! It had been a superb chance for them to enrich upon their own recoveries as well as enhancing their counselling skills. They were filled with fresh ideas of how they would pass their HOPE, STRENGTH AND COURAGE to the newly recovering addict.
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