Culturally Sensitive Women’s Support by Molly Hock
I feel a deep resonance with supporting the women suffering through this crisis. Back at the Eko Camp in Northern Greece last February, it was difficult to reach out to the women as they typically stay back in their tents. It was generally the men and children who reached out to us for support, for distribution, to play games, and for social interaction. I was longing for more connection with the women, and I have find it much easier now that people are more settled in the camps. People now have more of a space of their own, and many of the women would call me into their tents. I honor each moment with the women, and treasure our time together smiling and giggling as we communicated without many words. Love, trust, and admiration developed even without much verbal communication, and this is a gift I will always hold in my heart.
Through getting to know these women I quickly learned about their struggles due to lack of cultural sensitivity and appropriate distribution. Many (not all, but many), of the women do not leave their tents without their hijab (head scarf), dress, and even a jacket on. This is not something imposed on them, but something they choose to do. It is what makes them comfortable, and it honors both their religious beliefs and their lives back at home. Many of the women explained to me that they have only one scarf and one dress, which means they are not able to wash them in the provided common areas. I feel our global community is failing to provide these women with their basic dignity, and their basic hygienic needs. Many of the women were wearing the same scarf as when I last saw them in March, and they expressed the strong desire to be able to wash them. Can we blame them for this basic human desire? Absolutely not. Can you imagine wearing the same scarf or hat for months at a time in a communal living space? I certainly can not.
This has inspired our One Light Global Team to create a women’s drive in order to offer compassion, dignity, hygiene, and love to these women in need. I am asking you to support these women by donating toward the purchase of scarves, dresses, and feminine hygiene supplies.
Kyle and I will be returning to Greece in TEN DAYS, and we would like to take as much women’s aid with us from Turkey as possible. The cost is much lower here, and the culturally appropriate attire is not readily available in Greece. For only $12 USD you can purchase a basic dress and scarf for one woman. For $15 USD you can provide a women’s kit with a scarf, dress, and sanitary napkins. With a donation of $150 USD, you can purchase a kit for ten women. The camp we are returning to in Northern Greece currently holds 1,400 hundred refugees, and we would like to supply a kit for each woman in the camp. If you feel inspired to make this happen, please donate now.
PLEASE SPECIFY WOMEN’S KIT IN THE COMMENT BOX!THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THESE WOMEN IN NEED!
One Light Global is a project of Humanity Healing International, a 501(c)3 public charity. ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE