This was our final session before the Summer break. This term we sang together every week, teaching new songs and hearing songs from different countries.
We played ‘The Sun Shines On’ every week which is our favourite game. We stand in a circle and someone in the centre says “the Sun Shines on women Who…..” and then says something true about themselves , such as :”likes eating fish” or “misses their family” ..anything which is true for them. If this is also true for other women, they cross the circle and the last one to find a place then takes a turn to say something true for them. This encourages the women to speak in English and we support those who are not confident with English to do so.
This is both empowering and alot of fun!
At the start of each session each woman will say their name and the meaning of their name and where they are from.
Our performances have looked at many themes including Fathers around Fathers day. Others sessions we have explored times when we feel we are able to speak up for ourselves or not. We talked about things we struggle with, missing families and children who are far away and not knowing when or if they will ever meet again. We cried and laughed together.
We met throughout Ramadan in the heat when most of the women were not eating or drinking and we heard how this time was for them and how rich this time of year is and how it supports their lives.
We celebrated Eid together at the end of Ramadan with women bringing delicious food from their countries to share with us, yummy Iraqi Syrian and Sri Lankan pastries and the women looked beautiful dressed in their fine new clothes to celebrate the end of this time of intense prayer and fasting.
The sessions include women from Somalia, Egypt, Albania, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Ghana, Malaysia, Nigeria, Afghanistan and China amongst others. Usually we had between 26-30 women attending each week and many children under three years old.
All sessions are supported by social work students at START.
We look forward to returning in the Autumn.