Refugees’ GBV empowerment Project
Within the Refugees support program of the Citizenship League that aimed to provide psychological and knowledge support to refugees in Lebanon, in their places of refuge and camps, and to raise their awareness of citizenship culture and human rights, the League organized the Women Refugees program support.
The project was a series of empowerment sessions targeting a group of women, men, adolescents (males and females) in refugee camps in Lebanon. In this empowerment
sessions, interactive theater technics were used. These technics make an important tool for creating effective and innovative groups within the society, and for creating awareness among adults about their role in society, as well as individual and personal needs, and social development. This approach tends to use games as an educational mean, giving people the ability to communicate more easily, to see things from a new perspective, and to free them from stereotypes. Also, this theater technic promotes equality and offers the possibility of conceiving a different new world; it also has a positive impact on women’s personal abilities in analyzing personal problems. Moreover, the interactive theater creates a flexible and active work environment, which introduces new behaviors and new types of relationships and gives the ability to practice them.
The specific objectives of the project:
1- Introduce to refugees all types of violence against women and means to dismiss this violence.
2- Raise their awareness of gender discrimination issues (gender differences).
3-Provide psychological support through self-identification and ability to express themselves (self-expression); dealing with the body freely (without restrictions).
4- Broaden the horizon of thinking.
5- Promote self-confidence and confidence in others.
Within this project, a series of courses at the locations of refugees were organized, each course consisted of 12 sessions, and each session hosted 30 participants (males or females). The sessions contained different types of activities and events, from training workshops to dialogue sessions, round tables, social, sports and artistic activities, and relied mainly on the use of the interactive theater.
The awareness session on violence against women is presented below as an example of the interactive theater technic used in this project:
|The Activity||Objective||Implementation method||Duration|
|Ice breaking||Introducing the SL4C and the project through the introduction of topics, followed by a brief exchange of opinions.||Introducing and introduction||10 min|
|Video session||Explain the daily usual tasks
and activities of women at home.
|Presenting a video followed by a discussion over 2 levels:
1. The facilitator asking the participants about what they understood from this movie and what the key points were.
2. The facilitator asking the participants about their personal opinions (discussion).
|Physical differences between genders.||
|We drew two similar bodies; one that represented male and the other represented female, and we simply wrote beside each one (male / female). We asked each participant to
add a detail to each body; a detail that distinguished male from female, for
example: (mustaches for male and long hair for female). When participants finished from adding all
these details, we removed one single detail. Then we asked whether she
was still a woman and he was still a man, then we went on removing the
details one after another until we were back to the first main body, at that
point we asked: “What is the fundamental difference that cannot be removed or changed?”, until we got the answer: “the reproductive system is the physiological difference”.
|Ordinary day (daily routine)||Compare daily tasks for both genders
before and after asylum
|The Facilitator began a discussion about life before and after asylum, by comparing the number of tasks and working hours (by men and women) from early morning until the end of the day and calculating the working hours of each of them.||20 min|
|Turning a shirt into a wiper||Activate the imagination before starting the next
|We asked men to turn the shirt into something different, such as a towel, a pillow, a scarf …||5 min|
|Debate discussion||The objective was to highlight the risks of early
marriage by listening to each point of views and experiences.
|The exercise started by asking questions that could carry two different perspectives. Men were divided into two groups: the first had to justify the idea of early marriage, the second had to argue against this idea, and then we switched roles.||20 min|
|Relaxation exercises||How to deal with stress||The facilitator asked the participants about the pressures they were exposed to, and their responses towards this pressure through the personal experience of each one of them. And then they wrote about these pressures
on pieces of papers that everybody could see.
As a result; they found common issues between them all and they discovered that their situations were nothing but a natural reaction to their circumstances.
|Role play||Linking stress to violence||By playing the role of a stressed person under stress using the previous exercise. This role was played as if within the family in order to find out what would be the result of such a status from the perception of each person. The trainer played the role of a man under stress because of the asylum conditions and he would react negatively towards his family and wife, then one of the participants took the role of the trainer and tried to provide solutions to the problem.||20 min|
|Behavior change||A positive step towards a change within the family||Each participant was asked about his choice; whether he had the will to change a behavior that he was not satisfied with and was a troublesome inside the family / or whether he wanted to remain the same.||10 min|