In early March 2020, the IRC in San Diego's Women's Resilience Center had just hosted a soft opening for members, and was preparing for a Grand Opening event on March 27, unaware that in just a few weeks plans would dramatically change with the rapid spread of the COVID19 pandemic.
Now, one year later, the Women's Resilience Center is celebrating one year in operation - a first year that turned out very differently than planned, but saw many successess nonetheless and provided a community space that was more needed than ever.
The Women's Resilience Center is a space designed in collaboration with participants that is both a place for refugee and immigrant women to make friendships day-to-day, as well as to engage in emotional support groups and learning opportunities. In this first eventful year, staff quickly pivoted to connect with participants on WhatsApp, Zoom and Facebook, and found ways to create community space and connections virtual through a variety of activities and workshops including:
- Workshops on topics such as self-care, coping with stress and financial wellness
- Support groups for caregivers
- Weekly yoga and movement sessions
- The design, build, planting, and maintenance of a vegetable garden at the New Roots Fresh Farm Community Garden in El Cajon
These programs and activities reached over 40 women in the past year, and 21 of them additionally participated in focus groups and key informant interviews to help plan the direction and offerings of the Center. A strategic planning group of Women's Resilience Center members continues to guide the planning and development of Center activities and resources, such as a recently-established sewing group.
Currently, we are over halfway to reaching our goal of $60,000 needed to release and additional $60,000 in matching funds from The San Diego Foundation. Click here or contact Lida.Dianti [at] Rescue.org (subject: Women's%20Resilience%20Center) to learn more about the Women's Resilience Center and how you can contribute to this valuable community space.