Day 8, by Nancy Barry: Today we went to the Eritrean Women’s Center and had such a good day. It was almost all men! The conversation was lively and everyone felt safe to share their experiences, their concerns, and their contributions. It was really great to hear this disenfranchised population brainstorm ways to support their community and address the needs of their neighbors and friends. I think we were all a little surprised when we came to the GBV training and had men discuss this as a real problem in their community and how they, as male leaders, could try to prevent abuse and include women in the conversation.
We even had some participants stay for the entire day to do the secondary trauma and self-care workshops. Some comments that I took note of: Sara, the Amnesty intern, remarked to another Amnesty intern that she found the community organizing exercise “cool” and got really excited by the participants sharing their unique skill sets and abilities.
When we left for the day, I think we all felt honored by the refugees sharing their experiences with us and being so open, but they also expressed gratitude and said that the day had been interesting and they had learned a lot.
I think tomorrow’s full schedule will be exhausting but hopefully just as rewarding. Meg and Simone will be working with Eritrean daycare providers, Lev and Meg will lead a community organizing training for Amnesty interns and staff, followed by Lev’s workshop on fundraising for Amnesty staff, and all three delegates will conduct a health/CPR/first aid class directed at children’s health, women’s health, and pregnancy care.