You are here

UNFPA, together with Etijah and the Ministry of Youth and Sports concluded the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence with a community event at the Sanad Safe Space, which included an art therapy session, a Wendo training class and a musical performance, on December 9. 

The event brought together General Ismail El Far, Director of the Ministry of Youth’s Central Administration for Training and Projects, along with representatives from the Embassy of Switzerland in Egypt, the British Embassy in Egypt and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

Since 2018, UNFPA supported the establishment of 10 Safe Spaces located in Cairo, Giza, Damietta, Gharbeya and Sharkeya offering comprehensive case management packages for persons affected by gender-based violence (GBV), as well as socio-economic integration and training opportunities to refugees and migrants, and members of the local host community. 

The Safe Spaces, located in the Ministry of Youth’s Youth Centers, have become local attractive centers for networking, education and skills building, platform for volunteerism as well as opportunities for dialogue between refugees and host communities to learn more about common forms of violence against women and girls, prevention, existing services and opportunities for survivors. 

The day started with a GBV awareness session, where over 90 women discussed the root causes of violence against women, how it impacts survivors’ mental health and their relationship with their families. The session also oriented participants on the Mental Health & Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Network provided in the Safe Spaces. 

Participants of the Safe Spaces activities also showcased handmade products that are the outcome of vocational training sessions organized with UNFPA’s support. The training also includes marketing and finance tips to successfully manage small businesses. 

Visitors also attended an art therapy workshop where over 40 participants used painting and drawing to relay their emotions and experiences. This is proven to be a successful entry point for women and girls to access GBV services in the Safe Spaces. 

The female participants expressed their joy at being able to let out their creativity and paint their version of a happy place, in a calm and outdoor environment where their children can also attend and engage with them. 

“These activities boost our self-esteem, and teach us new skills,” one of the women participating in the art and awareness-raising activities says.

Visitors also attended a self defense class “Wen-Do,” offering women of different ages self-defense skills. 

The event concluded with a live musical performance arranged by art group “ZAD,” where community volunteers performed songs they trained to write inspired by their cultural heritage and tackling issues such as GBV and FGM. 

General El-Far expressed his gratitude for field partners working towards protection of women and girls, to UNFPA and its implementing partners who share a commitment to continue to offer protection and care against all forms of GBV for refugees.