Throughout conflict and displacement, Syrian refugee women and girls face increased levels of gender-based violence, especially domestic and sexual violence, and child marriage.
Gharsah's women program aims to spread awareness and information, in addition to providing a safe space and reducing gender based violence, and creating a supportive community where Syrian women enjoy equal opportunities which enables them to thrive and realize their full potential in life and make decisions about their own lives and futures.
Women and adolescent girls are our target groups but adopt a community-based approach in addressing the issues. therefore we also conduction workshops for men throughout the program.
The Women program unfolds in three phases
The first phase focuses on equipping the families with solid knowledge, tools and skills to design and implement community events and engage with the community on issues around GBV by providing:
Introspective reflection exercises facilitated by our psychotherapist and are focused on ones own behaviours and practices
Sessions focused on developing self-awareness and positive/negative coping mechanisms in response to chock or crises
Training programs on topics important to design community activities around GBV and accompanying families breaking the cycle of violence
Sessions focused on establishing shared values and trust between the participating families
In the second phase, we focus on a selected core group of families that will lead and coordinate the work in the second stage:
participate in preparatory meetings with Gharsah’s team, guided by a facilitator with expertise in designing similar GBV community activities.
Design and develop a schedule of activities addressing issues on GBV.
Supported in designing innovative and artistic community activities, adopting various tools, approaches and methodologies to engage the community.
Participate in team-building activities to build trust between families.
Divide tasks and agree on roles and responsibilities
In phase three the core group of families will:
implement the participated families’ community activities around GBV
(The activities include social gatherings or events, artistic activities like interactive theater, local-level campaigns, and other forms of awareness-raising discussions and workshops)
engage in networking with the wider community
Pay regular visits to families to invite them to participate in activities
follow up with participating families to sustain their engagement and participation
Provide guidance and accompaniment when necessary to other families
Participate in collective and bilateral meetings with Gharsah’s team
(monitoring the impact of the activities, questions or requests from participants in the wider community, emerging needs or issues, sensitive or confidential cases or issues such as arising needs for specific case management)
An evaluation activity with the core families is conducted to evaluate and reflect on the program as well as to identify five new families for the next cycle which will accompany the first core group of families who would act as peer advisers.
This helps Gharsah to continue developing the program to best suit the needs of the women and girls as well as the wider community. Furthermore, it helps Gharsah to identify specific cases where further assistance or referrals may be needed.
Women and children who are at risk of or who are currently facing violence are provided with psycho-social support on an ongoing basis with Gharsah’s psychotherapist. Gharsah will also provide them with referrals to various organizations in the area for legal case management or other relevant services. Additionally, Gharsah has an emergency fund for cash assistance in response to emerging and urgent GBV cases for women and children at high risk of facing direct violence.