The Centre for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria has completed its first workshop in the “Women for the Future of Syria” project in the Kilis refugee camp in Turkey. The workshop took place between the 15th and 17th of August and involved seventeen women from the provinces of Idlib, Aleppo, and Latakia, under the supervision and training of Rajaa Altalli and coordination of Khulood Alhaji.
The women discussed their personal experiences during the revolution and presented an assessment of the current situation in Syria, including an extensive discussion of the sectarian situation.
They also discussed their vision for the future of Syria in 2015 and 2020 in the fields of politics, economy, health, education, peace and security, civil society, and the environment, with discussions of the future of the media and Syrian culture to follow in future workshops.
The workshop also brought up possible small projects such as supporting and honoring the mothers of the martyrs who are living in the camp and possible programs for children and adolescents. “Pray the Devil back to Hell,” a movie that tells the story of the women’s movement for peace in Liberia, was also screened
The most important skills that the workshop focused on developing were speech skills, creative thinking, dialogue and debate (including how to develop rules and guidelines for dialogue), negotiation, teamwork, planning, and strategy.
The evaluations of both the trainer and the training program were extremely positive. One reservation that was expressed concerned the length of the training day, particularly since the workshop occurred during the month of Ramadan, and the fact that the workshop was limited to three day. There were also concerns about the lack of equipment available to assist in the training.
Proposals have been advanced to establish clear criterion for participating in the continuing work of the workshop, including providing continuing communication, material, and moral support for the implementation of the proposed project. It has also been proposed that programs of particular interest to women should be the primary focus.
Lead by the Centre for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria, with thanks to the Syrian-American Medical Association Centre and the management of the Kilis camp for facilitating the logistics of the workshop.