28 juli 2017

Insights on re-trainings: Shamin's experience after The Hague Training Course

Shamin, a Pakistani women’s rights defender, gave us a highlight on the re-trainings she did when she returned to Pakistan after participating in our December edition of The Hague Training Course on security and advocacy. She organized 2 trainings, one for Pakistani women and one for human rights defenders under threat.

‘After THTC I learned that it is important to recognize that people learn in different ways.’


Empowering Pakistani women


‘The workshops, exercises and all activities were tailored to the reality and context related methods were adopted as it was easier for the participants to imagine or even visualize.’ To communicate with illiterate people for example, she uses stories, diagrams, case studies, drama and visuals.

The first training focused on ‘providing ways and means of physical and psychological mechanism for women survivors of forced conversion cases’.

The idea was to help these women to identify what/who is a constant threat in their daily lives, and to learn how to protect themselves against these threats. This can be achieved through different steps, from learning emergency numbers, educating children, becoming an entrepreneur, interacting with other communities, to building toilets inside their houses to avoid isolated situations.

In addition to these practical advices, meditation and relaxation workshops were given to the women, who are under a lot of psychological pressure.


Protecting human rights defenders


The second training focused of human rights defenders’ safety. The participants came from NGOs, were journalists, lawyers, school heads and community leaders.

First, all participants had to identify the context they worked in precisely, so the ‘methods could be adjusted accordingly’. They learned about risks and threats, working on case studies, and on how to make a security plan. The last part of the training focused on psychological security, how to handle stressful situations and ‘taking care of your general well-being’. Participants were given stress management exercises, just as the women in the first training practiced meditation.

 ‘The way I learnt from THTC was that […] the trainer is the one who creates space for discussion. Keeping this attitude in mind I shared my knowledge and own experiences on security with the audience.’ 

‘The ultimate goal of the training was that the participants will put their knowledge, skills and attitude into practice as it is an ongoing process which always has room through reflection to improve which can be carried out at any time and any place.’