Refugee and Migrant women
Name of Community
Women from Afghan and Iran living in Italy Italy, Rome
Most of the women that participated to the project “A workshop for ourselves” established in Italy with their their family since at least 3 years. Many of them work as caretaker in Italian families or help their husband in commercial activities. They are women, muslims, between 30 and 50 years, most of them attended primary school, two women secondary school and one studied at University as Nurse. They knew each other thanks to binario 15, the volunteer association that manages activities and supports for social inclusions. They know few things about Italian culture and don’t have Italian friends although they would like to.
Women from Afghan and Iran had deep needs to approach Italian culture and Italian women to better understand the city they live in with their families. Labos activities involves migrant problems trying and proposing solutions to the people who suffer isolation and discrimination conditions. One of our aims was to enhance the intercultural cultural exchange between migrant women and Italian women, also facilitating the awareness of their respective cultures. This process happened thanks to Autobiographical narrations and participants could know each other and explore differences and similitudes. And this process helped women in better including in the Italian society and feel less lonely. The community, in fact, was experiencing a phase of isolation, also due to the pandemic. Another change we wanted to inspire concerns greater awareness of the political significance of their stories, especially regarding issues of gender equality, and greater confidence in telling about themselves and using digital media for this purpose.
Due to the pandemia, the workshops meetings were on line. The women lived in different part of the city and some of them connected the meetings from other towns of Italy and from Abroad. Binario15 helps and supports women in a better life in Rome and Italy, starting from Italian language courses ending to cuisine classes. The aim is to help migrant women to have necessary tools to live a better life in Italy.
Title of the path
“A workshop for ourselves” Labos, Italy
12 meetings (Saturday afternoon, every two weeks)
from December 2020 to October 2021
Description of learners/participants
5 Italian women from the association Storie di Mondi Possibili, 10 women from Afghan and Iran from the association Binario 15, that organize activities for social inclusion of migrant. Only one man, as facilitator of the workshop. Age participants: all women between 30 and 50 years old; Afghan and Iranian women are muslimì, all of them knew each other.
Encountering cultural exchange between migrant and Italian women, Integration of foreign women living in Rome, Autobiographical narrations from the two different culture (Italian and Afghan/Iran), to explore differences and similitudes. Avoid and combat isolation of migrant women.
Labos arranges and manages workshops for foreign people encouraging the meeting between different cultures. Cause of the pandemia, the meeting couldn’t be arranged in presence. Most of the meetings were on line. And we helped women to keep in touch using zoom and remote tools to combat the isolation and the loneliness. The afghan women didn’t trust internet in the beginning but after the first meeting on line new women added the group and gave their contribution for the gathering of the stories. Some of them lived in Rome, some out of Rome and one lady was in Danemark, waiting to move definitively in the dutch country.
By listening to the personal stories of Italian women, Afghan and Iranian participants learnt important topics about Italian cultures and habits, and viceversa Italian women learnt many interesting topics of Afghan daily life and traditions. The participants expanded the capacity for personal expression through storytelling, also expanding the ability to express themselves within a group. Another aspect concerns greater confidence with digital media. Public speaking, speaking in Italian (for migrants), Listening to different experiences, compare different cultures and traditions, opening heart and mind, discover bias and predjudices,
All stories have been transcripted and collected in a digital book. Two public events to share the experiences, public reading of the stories.
The narrations started with personal and individual stories. In a second phase the stories regarded the community story and the country story considering religion, culture and history of the people from Afghan and Iran. We have been talking about the women condition and compared to the Italian situation that women lived in the past and the conquer of the recent rights.
TWe worked through Module 5 “Co-creating Narrations” Session: facilitation and bias Facilitation and under representation Empowerment and engagement.
The change is related to adapting these practices to work at a distance, with a group with low knowledge of the exchange language (Italian). Since we couldn't use writing, the solution was to record the encounters and transcribe the narratives, and then return them to the group.