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Lessons in Flight
SFFI's official online newsletter
Onboard with Colombo Plan ACCE
Date Posted: 2014-03-14, Source/Author: Therese C. Castillo / Lessons in Flight - Vol. 1 No. 1 August 2013
It was unexpected when an opportunity to join an international training team presented itself, sometime in February 2012. I became part of the Colombo Plan Asian Centre for Certification and Education for Addiction Counselors (ACCE) Initiative as one of their Regional and national trainers. I am currently the youngest in the group. It appeared to come in perfect timing as I was just learning the ropes and finding meaning in my work. Through these trainings, dealing with clients and families made me understand better. The facets of addiction and all other things attached to it made more sense to me. Being able to travel different cities in Asia to be trained and train other others was a huge privilege. Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, and Kabul in Afghanistan to name a few. I never imagined actually going to Afghanistan to train people. It was by far most daring experience I have ever gone through. Nonetheless, I have no regrets, nothing but grateful.

Before I knew it, it seemed like I was flying from one city after the other every so often, the airport was as if a parking lot. Meeting new friends of different nationalities was one of the best things about our adventures. My world seemed bigger and wider in a span of a year. I was opened to what really goes on in addiction treatment in different parts of the world. Some were inspiring stories and some were simply heartbreaking. At the end of it all, I found myself truly passionate in helping make a difference in other people’s lives. I have hope that things can be better even for people living with Substance Use Disorders.

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