Generous Orthodoxy  

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Forgiveness and reconciliation in action

Does everybody out there know about Stephen and Elizabeth Alderman of Bedford, New York? Their son Peter was among those who died in the furnace of the World Trade towers on September 11, 2001. His parents established the Peter C. Alderman Foundation which has already achieved status as one of the ten most effective small foundations in the United States (Barron’s). Its stated purpose is "to create a sustainable, culturally effective mental healthcare system... by training indigenous caregivers and establishing mental health clinics to provide appropriate treatment in their local villages and communities, 80% of the victims of global terrorism and mass violence can be returned to productive lives."

The foundation has done this—so far—by "training indigenous healthcare workers to treat their own countrymen, forming private/public partnerships with local stakeholders, and leveraging these relationships to treat the country’s wounded population." They are operating in many of the world’s most tortured locales, including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cambodia, Chile, Iraq, Rwanda, and Uganda. They operate two clinics in Cambodia, two in Uganda and will open two more in Rwanda with Partners in Health on May 1, 2008. The website is http://www.petercaldermanfoundation/.