The audacity to spread your wings

Isam and his family at the July training retreat

The below words are from Isam, whom we helped to attend a training retreat to learn about group facilitation this July.

The trip also allowed him and his family to rest and to learn, as he says, the beauty of small and unique things, as well as the crucial skills of mindfulness and play, so needed in this world if one is to become the instigator of change in others.

The training was a foundation for our work together with Isam to guide others in these skills in coming months, and to empower those going through the asylum system in the UK with self-knowledge, and resilience, and an awareness of the importance of self-care.

In July 2022 Waging Peace gave me the opportunity to participate in a workshop to unleash my potentials through improving my facilitation skills. The workshop was organised by PSYCHEDELIGHT in Drodogne, Bergerac, France.

The "what I thought" is going to be a simple workshop turned to be a treasure of unprecedent experience and a life changing event that transformed me and my family to the better.

The Retreat was held in South France in Dordogne, was featuring a forest, a river and a beautiful medieval village.

Sophie Besse was the facilitator of the program.

The program was not written or structured before the starting date which surprised me but when I looked at this decision, retrospectively I admire the approach. Basically, the participants were bringing about their own ideas and transformed them into activities that, mostly, resulted in unexpectedly amazing practices.

The Retreat suppose to give healing, group bonding, through games, art, visual poetry, clowning, comedy addressing tragedy.

It was astonishing how the participants from huge variation in age groups ranging from as young as 13 & 16 years up to seniors on their late sixties.

I learnt how to listen to myself in order to better learn listening to the others. I enjoyed how to make any moment into a special memorable action. I was thrilled when discovering how we can find unique objects, full of beauty, laying there in front of our eyes without paying them any attention.

I noticed that my wife could engaged easily in very delicate topics and discovered her inner artist when playing with clay or forming non-verbal senses, visual poetry. I was delighted that she is now appreciating the beauty of life as it is even when you have nothing.

My two young teenagers, took their time to show their talents in practicing dog training or just enjoy themselves without the need to stuck on their screens.

Personally, I travelled a lot but the Retreat was my first holiday. It gave me a valuable opportunity to be closer to my family, to have new connections and the audacity to cross the lines of norms, spreading my wings to see other parts of the world without fear or anxiety from language abilities. How to push myself beyond the walls of my inner prison.

As a facilitator, I benefited from the special reviewing process at the end of each day, or on the discussions around the dinner table, or just to be humble while clowning or being extremely silly without fearing the judgement of others.

The main outcome was that I could facilitate my first virtual meeting at work and it was very productive and the participants shared their knowledge willingly and freely.

Without the facilitation skill I would have panicked and blamed myself why I did this or didn't say that.

I can say now I am able to facilitate any training delivered as a delightful learning experience for the participants.
We recently called on members of the public to write to decision-makers in both Sudan and in the UK about the decision to punish a woman in Sudan with being stoned to death after having been accused of adultery, under repressive, outdated, and misogynistic laws. Dozens of you took up this call to action, and we are hugely grateful!

We have also now started receiving replies from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in which they strongly condemn this sentence, and promise to monitor the case closely.

If you want to support us to allow us to continue transforming the lives of Sudanese refugees in the UK, and to campaign against injustices in Sudan, please consider donating.
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