The Azadi Project Digital Storytelling and Health Awareness Workshop took place in Lesbos, Greece from Feb 3 – 14, 2020 and focused on Mental Health Awareness and Resilience Building through Digital Storytelling.
All women participants of The Azadi Project Workshop in Lesbos have experienced trauma through violence both inside their houses and outside on the streets in war-torn Afghanistan, forcing them to flee their home country. They are now being retraumatized because of unsafe living conditions in Moria, Europe’s biggest refugee camp. Retraumatization manifests as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, seizures or fainting. “Every time someone tries to separate me from my family, I get seizures. Ever since I came to Moria four months ago, the number of panic attacks I suffer has increased”, says Masume, a 32 year-old mother of three from Afghanistan.
Through the art of storytelling, photography, yoga and psychosocial support sessions with professional psychologists, the refugee women are taught to channel their fear, depression, anxiety, and hopes into stories they want to share with the world. Within these two weeks, the participants then learnt to ideate, script, film and edit their own videos. Each participant reconnected with her emotions and is now taking a conscious and informed decision to share a message she wants others to know.
All participants from Afghanistan participated in group therapy sessions for resilience building, facilitated by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and individual online counselling sessions with Dr Foojan Zeine based in Los Angeles. The Azadi Project workshop in Lesbos was made possible in collaboration with the Women in Solidarity House (WISH) and was supported by the UNHCR Greece.