Project Update

Time for Refugees: Community Integration and Empowerment Training

In November, we completed the final component of the project in Kutaisi, Georgia, and are pleased to have achieved all predetermined goals.

Based on the MBTR-R and Co-Counseling Programs for Ukrainian refugee women, and Georgian IDP women, the training focused on supporting participants' (re-)integration into their communities and empowering them to move forward in life. The event focused on trauma-sensitive integration, a sense of belonging, and encouraging taking first steps toward integration.

On the first day, participants engaged in team-building activities, as well as sharing their needs, expectations, and wishes for the upcoming days. The evening concluded with a walking and talking exercise, encouraging participants to share recent positive experiences, challenges, and future ideas.

The second day included the Cuerpo Territorio (body-mapping exercise), guiding participants to identify personal and community strengths through body mapping. This practice helped to reflect on where participants find strengths and resources – both within themselves and in their broader communities. A role game helped to further look into available community resources for integration. To facilitate the transition from individual to communal perspectives, the next day we had a chain reactions exercise, incorporating the strengths participants had defined earlier. Both days included breathing and imagination exercises for trauma reduction, as well as yoga for mindfulness and self-regulation to wrap up the day.

The final day started with a relaxation and mindfulness session, providing participants with a moment to reflect on their journey within the project. Participants received envelopes containing their portraits and wishes from other participants, fostering a warm send-off.

As a result of the training and the whole project, participants noted improved sleep, reduced medication reliance, emotional stability, and enhanced life quality. A woman from Donetsk oblast expressed, "There is light I found here. I learned techniques to ecologically express my emotions, what to rely on, what not to rely on, and how to control my body and mind."