From where I stand: “It makes me happy to have a two-way constructive dialogue with the children and the women that I work with”

Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Silvana Samy is a 27-year-old lawyer, string artist and a workshop facilitator from the Upper Egyptian governorate of Beni Suef. Samy was one of 24 civil society employees and volunteers, who completed the training programme in Applied Drama for Community Health and Empowerment, which ran from August 2019 until March 2020, and was facilitated by Dawar for Arts and Development.

Samy (left) during her participation in the training programme in Applied Drama for Community Health and Empowerment. Photo: Courtesy of Dawar for Arts and Development

Samy (left) during her participation in the training programme in Applied Drama for Community Health and Empowerment. Photo: Courtesy of Dawar for Arts and Development

“I always had a passion for using art as a mean of communication, so I used my skills in string art to teach children how to protect their bodies and to work with women survivors of violence to help them overcome their trauma. The training programme in Applied Drama for Community Health and Empowerment had a great impact on me. It was my first time studying something that is very practical, without books and abstract concepts. We always started the sessions by understanding ourselves, our own purpose, our path and reflecting on what we want to do.

The training programme also provided us with a safe space to discuss and express ourselves freely. Among the most impactful sessions I attended during the training programme were the “interactive theatre” sessions because they taught us how to engage with participants and how to encourage them to express their own opinions.

After the training programme, I started to integrate the applied drama approach in my training workshops, and I noticed that my way of communicating has changed significantly. People started telling me that they feel more comfortable talking to me. It makes me happy to have a two-way constructive dialogue with the children and the women I work with.

I wish to advise all my colleagues and remind myself to always be genuine in communicating with the people that we serve. They are very intelligent and they feel it when we are sincere. When we do our work with passion and sincerity, it helps us to better do our job. I always remind myself that I could have been in the shoes of the people that I serve and that I would have wished to find someone to support me. Lastly, I encourage all my colleagues and myself to continue to learn new ways to better serve our communities because knowledge is endless.”

SDG 5 The training programme in Applied Drama for Community Health and Empowerment falls under UN Women’s Ending Violence Against Women programme, which is generously supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The programme contributes to achieving SDG 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, in particular, Target 5.2, which seeks to “Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”.

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