“How do you feel about your physical health right now?”
To follow up on our beneficiaries and improve our services, our project coordinator has been going around to visit people in their homes asking questions such as this one. In the past three months, around 100 ladies were able to benefit from our regular classes in two camps for Syrian refugees.
It has been exciting to hear how individuals have been encouraged and challenged by their time together exercising as a group. While some have experienced major changes in their bodies and increased energy during their daily activities, others commented that they stopped hitting their children and have a bigger margin for the difficulties they experience.
“How do you feel about your emotional health right now? “
Everyone in the camps is affected by recent developments increasing the conflict in their home region of Northeastern Syria. Most of the ladies that attend our classes have relatives or friends in Northeastern Syria and for whose lives they fear and as returning to their homes is cast into doubt once again. Though coming to exercise does not remove their worries and grief, it does provide a much needed opportunity to let out stress and receive encouragement.
Thank you for your contributions towards helping refugee women stay in shape and be encouraged!
Even as temperatures started to soar above 104°F (40°C), the participants in our fitness project have been happy to resume exercising after a short break during Ramadan (month of fasting). With your support, 75 Syrian refugee ladies are currently attending our fitness classes three times per week in two camps, 22 of them for the first time! The word about our program is spreading from and we expect the attendance to continue to increase in the coming months.
Why do people keep coming despite the heat? While one of the main reasons people start coming is to lose weight, they often keep coming because they feel encouraged and accepted by each other. Women are losing weight while having fun and making friends. Since these Syrian refugees lost their natural community and relational networks when they fled their homes and villages, being known and spending time together in class has been an important step in forming new community. For some of the women the fitness classes are the only time during the week they get out of the home to do something for themselves. Several of the ladies have shared how taking part in the classes has helped them to become more patient with their children and slower to be angered by their husbands. Some of their spouses have noted the positive the positive changes and are encouraging their wives to regularly participate. Join us to help women get in shape, build relationships and impact their community.
After only being on the Global Giving site for a few months, our partners have already given nearly 10% of our 2 year goal for the Women's Fitness project. This is very exciting because we see this project making changes in the community every week and we know it needs to keep going!
Our team recently took time to interview and record conversations with many of the women in the program and nearly every woman that shared had previously struggled with depression or general malaise due to their lack of activity, purpose, and healthy relationships in addition to living conditions. Many after only one to two weeks of attending classes found great improvement in their mood, and after longer attendance saw great weight loss and improvement in health conditions.
It is especially exciting when we see relationships reconciled in the midst of this project as strong relationships are so foundational to ongoing holistic health. After a class, one of our local instructors was leading a discussion on personal worth. One woman asked for the mic and stood up and apologized to another woman in the group who she had been in relational conflict with for about 4 years. She told the other woman that she had not seen her value and was sorry for allowing the conflict to continue. They cried and embraced in front of the whole group and began the process of restoration.
Thank you for partnering with us!
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