Facilitating intercultural discussion on sexual health and relationships among forced migrants conference
16th August 2019
New Routes intern, Marigona Rasiti, on July 2019’s conference on sexual health and relationship workshops, hosted by New Routes and the University of East Anglia:
Now that the number of people migrating and requiring refuge is increasing exponentially, facilitating integration is even more important. Social integration in particular, considering that interaction is the key to being accepted into a new society. Newcomers’ attitudes towards gender relations in western society is one of the first big culture shocks that the host community and newcomers face. The issue in hand is a thing socially embedded and structurally installed, therefore not easy to tackle. However, the initiative to understand each other’s outlook on the topic and allow/help them to learn and understand their hosts is quite vital for integration. This is why I consider the ‘’Facilitating intercultural discussion on sexual health and relationships among forced migrants’’ guidance document and conference a much needed and successful action.
The conference started with a lovely welcoming introduction by Dee Robinson, Projects Coordinator at New Routes, followed by an insightful speech by the Executive Director of Refugee Council, Maurice Wren. Then we had ice-breakers at tables where we had the opportunity to meet different people and share our backgrounds. Having been introduced to the research and all its phases, we participated in mini experiential workshops where we gave our analytical reflections by suggesting new ideas on how to undertake a project like this in three stages – before, during, and after. We were divided into six groups, two groups of each stage so we could move from one group to another, thus, had the opportunity to participate and see each group’s work. The first stage consisted of preparation, the usage of methods to target participants’ needs, the structure and so on. The second stage included aspects such as facilitation strategies, icebreakers and the learning environment. The third stage was concerning the evaluation tools and its usage. The workshops were very interesting and the engagement of the delegates participating was considerable. Genuine and innovative ideas were spreading around the room; a positive result that will hopefully inspire similar projects in other parts of the country!
Conferences have so many stories happening and the connections that are being made can be invaluable. A shared delightful lunch and two coffee/tea breaks allowed us to expand our networking and exchange ideas.
Hopefully events like this will bring more likewise platforms and guide future professionals to better approaches and treatments to tackle such complex issues.
Download the workshops guidance here
Posted in: Education