Boundaries are good
"I did not know how to put boundaries until today". These were words uttered by Samya who was one of the attendants of our training at the Cook Door factory. The Cook Door factory is a food factory with many sandwaich shops across Cairo.
This project is a partnership between Not Guilty and Save the Children. There were 30 workers present. The training took place in February 2018.
Since we decided to involve men in the safety in the workplace trainings, things have become so interesting. Teaching boundaries to men is actually an eye opener. Many men feel suffocated, one of them even screamed STOP IT RIGHT NOW, when he felt the group getting too close to him in one of the games.
Yet, Cook Door owners were wary about letting Not Guilty team train about harassment in the work place. They did not know what to expect since this training is quite new in Egypt.
So they decided to try us out once, then, if they like the training to go ahead and do the full five days.
SO, we decided to do the sessions on boundries. two sessions for men, and two for women.
It was amazing how men and women react differently: men were actually more annoyed when someone intruded into their private space delineated by a hoolah hoop. It is only then that they realized how annoying it is to women to have their boundaries broken.
"We never understood", commented Ahmed, one of the factory workers. "We always thought it was fun, adding some excitment to the dreary and long work days. But, I decided to stop now that I exeprienced that feeling of suffocation and annoyment".
One of the games we play during the workshop are the circles of boundaries, where they would put acquaintances in the outer circle, and get closer and closer till they reach the inner circle of the family and the spouse. Many had mixed up boundaries, putting people who should be in the outer circle in a circle closer to the family. They realsed that boundaries are good and they make healthy realtionships.
"Today, I learned I can put boundaries, even if the other party does not like it. My body belongs to me, and I get to decide what boundaries I need to have. I feel so empowered. Thank you Not Guilty".
Did Cook Door decide to take the rest of the training? Yes. Now, we are preparing for a training in August to the whole factory team.
We want to reach at least 15 factories in 2018.