Let us gather together to be part of the change for creating a healthier Guam!
Over the course of the last two years, the Prevention and Training Branch of Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center hosted two conferences in order to discuss prevention education and community empowerment. Technical assistance and facilitation was provided by Kauffman and Associates, Inc. (KAI), a Washington-based agency that developed the curriculum Gathering of Native Americans (GONA). GONA is a community mobilization method that builds upon the inherent cultural strengths of the local indigenous community. Prevention and Training branch supervisor Barbara S.N. Benavente shares: “Our cultural strengths are our most powerful tool in preventing suicide and substance abuse among our people.” The core principles of GONA will be adapted into Guam’s culture, thus the theme: Gathering of Pacific Islanders for Prevention Education and Community Empowerment (GOPEACE).
Each of us, as a member of Guam’s community, has value, worth, and a role to play in healing our community from the effects of substance abuse and the trauma as a result of suicide.
GOPEACE will help to unite us in a holistic approach to prevention. We belong to one community. We each have a mastery of knowledge and skills. We are interdependent on each other and our island. We are a generous people. Let us gather together to be part of the change for creating a healthier Guam!