Nov 26, 2018

Help Women Find Their Voice

Get the strength to say no
Get the strength to say no

We learned in every situation we should be careful but not scared.”

At the end of each self-defence class, our instructor, Anat, asked the women what they learned. And let us be clear, they learned a lot. These sessions were packed full of not only useful tactics for physical self-defence, but also techniques to deter potential assailants.

Use your voice.
Use it loudly.
Use it strongly.
Pay attention.
Trust your gut.

And in a dangerous places such as overcrowded refugee Camps, these tactics are key. The women taking our classes –single women, traveling without family or support –are particularly vulnerable. And the reports and statistics on rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in refugee populations are both countless and discouraging. But by teaching women techniques to protect themselves, physically, mentally and emotionally, we can help turn this around.

We want to continue bringing this knowledge to the women living here on Lesvos, but we can’t do it without your support.

Nov 13, 2018

Empowerment Self Defense Training is Starting

Tomorrow, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are kicking off the first session of our Empowerment Self-Defense class for single women living in Moria camp!

This past week, our team, joined by both French and Arabic translators, went inside the secure women’s section to gauge interest and start registrations. And the response was overwhelming. We quickly found ourselves surrounded by eager participants. And as each young woman learned about the class subject they also ran to grab friends and roommates. In less than an hour, we had filled (in some cases, over-filled) each of the three sessions. And unfortunately, we even had to turn people away.

We also were able to team up with Iliaktida, the organization responsible for unaccompanied minors. And we think these young girls, so far from their families, and among the most vulnerable on the island, will truly benefit from the skills they learn.

These are women from countries all over Africa and the Middle East – all who are going to learn to live safer, more secure lives and carry themselves with confidence. After their unimaginable journey to arrive in Europe, and the dangerous, tenuous situation they live in now, we want to provide them the skills they will need to not only protect themselves physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

We are all looking forward to a strong, successful week.

We are also looking forward to making this program a regular staple of our work. Turning people away from this program is something that we never want to have to do again. When we started with this idea, we knew the need was great, and now that we know the interest is just as great – we want to be able to provide this necessary skillset to as many women as possible.

Sep 20, 2018

Starfish Foundation - crowdfunding update

First and foremost, we would like to apologize for the delay in updating our progress on this project. The situation on the ground changes so rapidly that often emergencies and political changes force our priorities to shift temporarily. 

However, we have great news!

We have secured a location for the women’s protection program and we’ve invested in having a new and proper floor installed. Fortunately, this site is already home to another project that serves solely women so their privacy and safety will be ensured. We have also found a sport educator that is based here on Lesvos that will oversee the program and we are in the process of finding an appropriate instructor for this delicate classroom environment.

We are looking forward to getting this project running and we will keep you updated as the last details are finalized!

As always, you can follow our activities and ongoing projects on Starfish Foundation's Facebook page.

Thank you once again,

Starfish Foundation.

 
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