In the words of Dalia Ramadan: “The training programme not only taught us how to use arts in our work, but also how to better connect with the women we serve”

Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Dalia Ramadan, 36, is a project manager at the Al Shehab Foundation for Community Development in Cairo, who specializes in providing legal and psychosocial support to women survivors of violence. Ramadan was one of 24 participants in a training programme in Applied Drama for Community Health and Empowerment, which ran from August 2019 until March 2020. It aims to equip partners and volunteers with practical skills to enhance their ability to communicate and implement community activities. The initiative falls within UN Women’s Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW) programme, which is generously supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In a conversation with UN Women, Ramadan shared how the training programme has enhanced her capacity to communicate with communities and women survivors of violence.

Ramadan facilitates an awareness-raising session in her work with the Al Shehab Foundation for Community Development. Photo: Courtesy of Al Shehab Foundation for Community Development

“[As a project manager] I mainly work with children and women survivors of violence. What I love most about this job is seeing the positive impact of our work on the people that we serve. For example, last week I received a call from a woman who told me how much our support has helped her in overcoming her challenges. She is a single mother of six children who had serious economic and social challenges and we have provided her with psychosocial support and helped her to secure a sustainable source of income. These conversations mean the world to me.

I was very fortunate to be selected as one of the participants in the training programme in Applied Drama for Community Health and Empowerment. At the personal level, the training programme has helped me so much in understanding and accepting myself. At a professional level, we have already started integrating what we learned through Dawar for Arts and Development in Al Shehab’s activities. The training programme not only taught us how to use arts in our work, but also how to better connect with the women we serve.

For example, before the training programme, we used to evaluate the effectiveness of our awareness-raising workshops using paper forms. Now, we use interactive activities that are easier for our workshop participants to understand. With this new approach, we can involve participants in improving our services.

My advice to all colleagues in our field is to fully believe in what you do and to have faith that your work will pay off. I also want to tell all women and all survivors of violence to never be silent, to always remember that you are humans and that you have the right to live with dignity.”

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