Recently, the refugee women who participate in the IRC in Dallas’ “Arab Women’s Support Group” received certificates for completing their support group sessions! Group sessions are generated by topics that are chosen by the women as well as drawn from activities found in “Pathways to Wellness,” an eight-week curriculum used to guide discussions about mental health and common stressors experienced during the first few months of resettlement.
The topics covered in the Arab Women’s Support Group included a wide range of material, including learning how to manage stress. To teach this, the women were shown different types of yoga positions as well as breathing techniques they can do at home, sitting at a medical appointment, or even lying down. These breathing techniques are designed to help them stop, let go and retreat from the day-to-day challenges that can occur during the refugee resettlement experience. When informed that she would be receiving her “completion” certificate group participant, Basla Al Rubaye, said, “It is amazing to me how my opinion has changed about meeting with other Iraqi women to talk. The first meeting was okay. I was not sure if I could trust the other women, or if I would continue attending the support group…but, by the second time I started liking it…and after the fifth time, I fell in love with this group. So, please keep this support group going even after we finish with our last session. We need this.”
The Health & Wellness team who has supported this group from the beginning has watched how quickly these women learned to trust one another and how much they shared after the first session. Health & Wellness Caseworker Rayan Elbasheer says, “All it took was a sacred space, some tea, and for one brave woman to share her story. This opened the initial door for them to one by one eventually say to each other, “I understand. Because I am going through this too.”’
If you are interested in supporting the Arab Women’s Support Group through financial or in-kind donations, please contact DonationsDallas [at] Rescue.org (subject: Interested%20in%20supporting%20the%20Arab%20Women's%20Support%20Group%20) .