Our volunteers at the project have a training day coming up – in supporting traumatised asylum seeking women. The event is being organised by CSEL (Centre For The Study Of Emotion & Law) a fantastic charity based in London whose aim is to provide high quality applied research to inform legal decision making regarding people who have been oppressed – ensuring equal justice for all.
The training day has proved to be really popular and is fully booked – this is great news for us as it means we can learn, discuss and network along with other agencies in the field. It is important for us to know what other services are available to the women we support so that we can refer them on and, likewise, from them to ourselves. Many of the ladies we support have gone through what can only be described as hell. We are constantly amazed and inspired by how strong they are and through this we are determined that they are aware of and have access to all the services that are available to them.
One aspect of the training day that we are really looking forward to is the lunch prepared by the women from Karibu. This unique charity was set up in 2004 by a lady called Henriette Koubakouenda to address a gap in available services – support for African women by African women. The name “Karibu” means welcome in Swahili and since 2004 they have grown from meeting in a living room to having their own premises in the city centre.
Now at over a hundred members strong they work to promote the confidence, skills and integration of African women into local communities. We are hoping that from our training that we will use our new knowledge of psychological research that has been done on asylum seeking women to broaden our understanding of what they have come through and to improve our services.