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"All Women Aboard" - new programme for refugee women

Strengths-based participatory programme for refugee women in the Netherlands starting soon!  "All Women Aboard"  What a joy to be part of this with The Constellation. 

In partnership with a Dutch agency (Implacement) and a large municipality, we organise a one-year vocational programme for women who came to the Netherlands as part of family reunification. Their refugee husbands received a permit to stay, and recently their wives (and kids) from Syria, Eritrea and other countries have reunited with their husbands.

When research showed that refugee women who arrived in the Netherlands as a result of family reunification didn’t benefit from local services for refugee integration, the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs decided to fund pilot projects specifically for these women. The purpose of these projects is to identify good practices in assisting married refugee women in making a new home in the Netherlands. A new and hopeful beginning not just for their partner and their children (which is usually their first concern and focus), but also for themselves. Using SALT, women will explore and pursue their dreams for a happy family life, as well as fulfillment in other areas of their lives (work, education, recreation, personal health, etc.). We will form three support groups of approx. 10 participants who will go on a one-year journey together to envision their future possibilities, plan actions and realise their plans through mutual support and networking. Constellation’s contribution is to train a pool of Dutch women and refugee women to become SALT facilitators, and to offer methodological (SALT & CLCP) input to the program.

As the women sign up for the programme individually (and probably don't know each other at the onset), we will start with individual dream building processes, each including  her family into her dream. After everybody has composed their (family) dream, we will do the Community Life Competence Process together, to formulate a SHARED DREAM. This will specify how the women can assist and support each other in realising their dreams. We will also arrange meet-ups with other women's groups to share experiences and resources, and learn from one another.
What are your experiences with women groups, using SALT? We are curious to learn from you!
When this project is successful, the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs will integrate its good practices into new laws on participation of refugees in 2021. How exciting would it be, if (elements of) the SALT approach will be adopted nationwide!

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on January 27, 2020 at 9:15am

Two lessons learned: 

  1. Context is important. The group which will emerge will not have members from homogeneous background
  2. Ask the question- whom do you want to involve from your family in this process?

All the best!


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