Opening up, speaking about your experiences and gaining confidence: a GMAC workshop gave returnees the opportunity to do just that. It also included discussion of trauma and gender-specific challenges.
Where traumatised women and men find help
It can often be easier to generate trust and talk about your background in a small group. The fact that there were only 10 of them probably helped the participants at a 2-day GMAC workshop to open up. The 6 women and 4 men had one thing in common: they had all recently returned to Iraq from Europe. Most of them had suffered many negative experiences abroad, which they now needed to process.
Helping people to help themselves
They didn’t exchange their personal stories until the second day of the workshop at the Coral Palace Hotel in Baghdad. Participants were first of all given knowledge to help them deal with difficult situations during the new start in their home country. This involved talking about gender-specific prejudice and gender-based violence. They learned for instance how to identify abuse and report it to the relevant authorities in Iraq. They also learned how they can protect themselves from physical and social harm.