On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, the 1st weekly meeting of the social psychosocial empowerment group of the Social Integration and Employability Center of Caritas Hellas was held in Kipseli Municipal Market.
The men gathered in the meeting room of the group and were sat in a circle. The terms of participation of the group were first introduced and then we started talking about the common characteristics they may have. Inevitably there was a first reference to the concept of trauma. The participants exchanged experiences with each other and gave advice and courage to each other.
The Recovery Star was offered to the participants as a work tool for the meetings to follow. Following the traumatic events of any form of abuse, this tool works by enhancing aspects of a person’s life, improving social, emotional, personal interpersonal, etc. skills of the individual. The aim is, within a reasonable time, to improve the results of the participants in each category, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life, accepting their new life and reality here in Greece, embracing and loving oneself, so as to better integrate in the society.
Later on, the participants posed some questions and affirmed that they understood the process and wished to participate in the next sessions. We then moved to the second part of the meeting, called the “Game of Silence“. We all stood up in the center of the room and left behind the recorded instructions heard from the speakers, while we were not allowed to talk. After each one chose a match, and one functioned as the mirror of the other, some trust exercises were performed. The participants were actively involved and entertained throughout the procedure.
The psychosocial support group is part of the Program “Social and Economic Integration of Refugees and Immigrants in Athens” concerning the support and integration of refugees and immigrants in Greek society. The Program is implemented by Caritas Hellas and is funded by Caritas Switzerland.