"COMMUNITY-BASED HEALING AND PEACEMAKING" (CBHP) is a process oriented gathering for sharing of experiences, creating views, deepening insights and expanding our understanding of practical experiments and cooperation to different fields that respond to the growing need for community orientation for a sustainable future.
The aim of CBHP is to empower ourselves and others by exploring, sharing, critical examination of tried and tested alternative methods and to experiment with some of them - while promoting critical dialogue. Among others, we wish to see people empowered to develop effective insights and practices within their respective disciplines and fields of interest. To accomplish this we aim to promote multidisciplinary approaches and integration of knowledge, research data and practical findings from scientific and traditional backgrounds.
To illustrate one successful integrative and holistic approach; the Sambhavna clinic in Bhopal, India, provides free and cheap medical care, diagnosis and evidence based treatment for victims of the Union Carbide industrial disaster who were poisoned by industrial chemicals. "At Sambhavna, survivors receive free medical care through Western medicines, ayurveda (an indigenous system of medicine based on herbs) and yoga therapy. The 56 staff members of the Sambhavna Clinic (just under half of which are survivors themselves) include five regular doctors and three visiting doctors (ENT specialist, opthalomologist and pathologist), one yoga and two Panchakarma therapists and six community health workers who carry out health surveys and manage health education programs."
Through this approach, Sambhavna and many projects like it are not only bringing much needed and affordable health care to an impoverished population but at the same time empowering people by applying effective treatments that come from their own culture, traditions and belief systems and operate outside the for-profit medical economy. At the same time, this project clearly demonstrates the need to integrate powerful medical scientific and technological approaches with effective traditional healing systems. The cultivation of medicinal plants and the integration of community-based approaches strengthens self-reliance, resilience and solidarity in ways that Western medical approaches do not.
In our gathering we wish to reflect and apply experiences of approaches like: Talking Circle, Forum, Future Workshop, Sociocracy, Forum Theatre, Healing Dance, Trauma healing, Dragon Dreaming, Non-violent communication, Ceremony, Art, Music, Tantra, as well as a variety of methods taken directly from e.g. indigenous traditions, e.g. drumming and trance work, etc. We will also consider the contributions of modern disciplines from therapeutic approaches to education and activism.
In Finland intentional and eco-communities have regularly organized courses and events focusing on healthy ways of living and many people living in these communities make a living based on a variety of such "complementary" healing practices, oriented around healthy food, art, handicrafts and developing healthy, sustainable relationships to the environment. This may be expressed through gardening, caring for animals, for the wilderness as well through the embrace of practices like yoga, meditation, seasonal rituals etc. All of these invoke a wide spectrum of ancient and contemporary healing practices and insights.
Different kinds of health, environmental and social problems may also call for community based solutions. Consequently, "community based healing and peacemaking" has during recent years become a topic for discussion. This is one of the motives that inspired us to organise an event focusing on the subjects of 'health' and 'peacemaking' in connection to GEN Conference 2018 in Estonia.