FEEDBACK: 21st March 2017
Women present at these sessions, which ran from January- March 2017 are from the following countries:
Iraq, Kurdistan, Egypt, Syria, Liberia, Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Albania, Eritrea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Ghana.
There have been 28 – 31 women each week with many babies and children under three and 2-5 Start students providing refreshments and support with the children. There have been 3 or 4 actors.
The women have been attending these sessions from between 3 weeks to 3 years. On the last day we asked them to give us feedback about how it had been for them to attend these sessions. Women stood up one at a time and spoke or asked for support in translating to say what they wanted to say. Here is what they told us:
“Thank you for your time and patience. We feel we are in good hands. We can talk about everything. It makes our hearts freer and bigger”
“Thank you. I feel at home. I feel joy and happiness. Even when I am sad when I get here, I feel happy. We feel like one.”
“Thank you for our acts towards us because we are refugees. We have come here and we are going through stress and feel lonely. We need to video this to show them. (the funders). THIS is how we become stronger to raise our children.”
“Thank you for your kindness. We really appreciate. When I come here my mood changes, I feel like a Queen. I feel happy and I enjoy it.”
“Thank you for allowing me to be here. I appreciate for all we have said and you have shown in an artistic way.
This is the only place I feel respected and I will be listened to.”
“ I wait every Tuesday to come here and Adam (her 2 year old son) is very happy. Adam is waiting for Tuesday to come to the ‘Belle Mama’ group!
In this group I know other people. I learn other countries culture. It’s very important for me. I learn English. When I came I didn’t know and I didn’t speak anything. Thank you so much”
‘We are only happy when we come here. Happy we are with a lot of other people. We wait for every Tuesday. You help us speak about ourselves and how we feel. It improves our language to speak English well”
“I wait for Tuesday. It’s nice to be with the kids.(She doesn’t have her own children) I have depression and here I feel very good”
“Thank you for what we make together. We meet people from another country. We play. I like your drama. I come to watch you. I feel Here (she touches her heart). It makes me happy. Thank you to you all. We miss you”
“ I like it all. We are very stressed and it’s difficult for us. I have lost my family. Now I am happy when I come here. You make something for US. We can forget the past. I am very happy when I come here. I am very enthusiastic about coming. It is funny. How did you learn to do this.? Your acting is amazing. I always wonder how you hear others and then perform it. We would like to learn. Who taught you?”
What followed was a conversation about who would like to learn to do the acting and between 11-15 women put their hands up! They said it would need to be only women. And seemed to think they could manage to learn it with the children present! One thought not!)
“I am VERY HAPPY”
“I have learned English here. When I arrived I didn’t speak anything. I spoke no English. I haven’t been on any course, to any English class. I just watch you and my friend tells me what you are saying.”
“Women should keep coming here because the women will learn to speak out about private things because in our culture they don’t speak up.
You are our sisters. Our family is far away but you are here.”
“I love Tuesday because I come here”
“I was so shy when I first came here…do you remember? I never spoke English, never….and now…..
I feel you my second family. When I am with you I don’t feel alone. I feel alone every day but not when I come here”
Women also spoke about their sadness and worry that we would not be back for so long.