During 21-24 of January, in Italy it was held the first of the four training courses planned in the project Mutual Share for Women Care. The training was hosted by Siderea one of the partners from Italy.
The training implied visits to local organisations, presentation of case studies, visits to local institutions, meetings with local anti-violence centres, discussion with abused women and with operators who helped them.
The training started with a visit in Latiano at Community "Casa Flora" managed by the Siderea Social Cooperative. "Casa Flora" is a community that hosts mothers and their children. The mothers there have different backgrounds of domestic violence and heart breaking stories. Even so, there is a warm atmosphere and the group was well welcomed. The children there were very friendly and eager to meet new people and share their life plans.
As participants we could see that "Casa Flora" is a real community, is a real home with a warm atmosphere and not just a centre, a simple house. In the last day, the mother living in this house has prepared a great lunch for all of us, showing us the real Italian food traditions.
The next day started with a visit at the violence help desk “Io Donna” located in Brindisi. This organisation is helping women affected by violence and is implementing several campaigns on the issue of domestic violence since 1980. They work with public and private funds and organise women support groups, counselling services and legal and psychological support for abused women. The organisation is also managing a home shelter for women – Casa Refugio. In this shelter women can live up to 12 months, time in which they are helped to find a job and renter the society and most important they are protected from their abusers. We have assisted presentations of their projects and discussions about the way they implement their activities. Also, as participants we made parallels with what is happening in our countries in similar areas and how our local systems would treat the issue.
In the last day of the training we have participated in an Emotional Experiences Laboratory. The activity implied several exercises that connected body language and emotions. As participants we have experienced a powerful instrument that operators that work with abused women should use. This instrument allows the operator to be able to detach and not carry with them the emotions of the abused women after the intervention.
We have discovered how emotions work with body and how we can influence others emotions with the body language, how to manage our own emotions with the help of gestures and facial expressions.
At the end of the activity, we drew our portraits and we have reflected if the way we see ourselves the same like the other see is us. For sure, all this at emotional level.
As participants we also had the chance to socialise, get to know each other better and make new friends. The team spirit was great and we are all eager for our next meeting.
The training was a great experience. The organisation was great on behalf of the Italian partners that hosted it. The content of the session, the visits and the discussions offered a complete view on the issue discussed in Italy and were very comprehensive and the content of high quality.