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A delegation from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in Rome and Egypt and UNFPA conducted a visit to the Sanad Safe Space for Women and Girls in Giza on March 14.

The delegation was headed by  Dr. Stefano Glinianski from MAECI, Ms. Francesca Fiorino, Head of AICS’ Human Development Unit in Rome, Dr. Martino Melli, Director of AICS in Egypt and Frederika Meijer, UNFPA Representative in Egypt along with the UNFPA technical team. 

Sanad is one of ten Safe Spaces established since 2017 across Egypt with UNFPA’s assistance in partnership with Etijah Youth and Development Consultancy Institute and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, offering community members from refugees, migrants and asylum seekers as well as local communities learning and case management services with specific focus on persons affected by gender-based violence (GBV). 

This is Meijer’s first official visit to the Safe Space, where she was welcomed by the Director of the Safe Space, the coordinators, the volunteers and psychologists present during the day. She spent the afternoon meeting with female beneficiaries attending the art therapy activity and learned more about their backgrounds and how the Safe Space contributes to their well-being and growth. 

Etijah oriented the Italian delegation with the services offered for the refugees and migrants at the Safe Spaces, especially for the GBV survivors and those at risk of GBV. The case management team and some of the volunteers working in the Safe Spaces shared their experiences as well. 

Women who received livelihood and vocational skills training at the Safe Spaces also showcased their products. The AICS team also learned about the work of the case managers and volunteers, and what areas they would want to build on in the upcoming phases of the program. 

Case managers and volunteers also explained that they receive one to one counseling sessions by professional psychologists which is an essential element in their work. UNFPA and AICS exchanged interest to further support the Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS) services for the case management team to help them avoid burnout and to improve quality of services provided to GBV survivors. 

The Italian delegation concluded the visit by praising the efforts of Etijah, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNFPA to address the victims of violence from marginalized communities and the ability to sustain comprehensive packages of services that ensure prevention as well as protection and care for all community members.