Make women breathe again 

Dutch classes at De Honingraat

“This group has given me a lot of strength. I have the feeling that I am not alone anymore.” says an Afghan participant of Breath of Hope to state how important is the project contribution for newcomer women.

With Covid-19,  isolation has intensified for newcomers, making them even more vulnerable. Mental health is, therefore, a priority and as an organization that supports women in their journey toward integration, the Breath of Hope project is committed to supporting and empowering women. Four activities are offered: home visits for emotional support and building trust, reflection groups for emotional care, socialization, and mutual support, regular meetings for relaxed conversation and building a sense of belonging, and workshops for learning and teaching about relevant topics, possibly with people from the neighbourhood. These activities are intended to empower participants and encourage identification with the Netherlands.

Mental health is essential at every stage of life. In difficult situations, having mental health becomes almost a challenge, but good practices can help. Each refugee should be able to share personal feelings and experiences with somebody who cares. That is why Breath of Hope is committed to including emotional, psychological, and social well-being support. For certain women, the project is one of the only ways to go outside and meet people. Indeed, Breath of Hope is running two newcomers’ groups, with women living in Osdorp and Slotermeer, and women that are hosted at the Emergency shelter Amsterdam Galaxy, a cruiser that receives around 700 people from different nationalities.

Adriane Vieira (Breath of Hope coordinator) walking to the Emergency shelter Amsterdam Galaxy.

The Breath of Hope project is an initiative of Road of Hope, supported by the municipality of Amsterdam, which aims to empower women who are newcomers, status holders, and in vulnerable situations. The project focuses on providing opportunities for these women to reflect on their sense of life, interact with the local community, and re-identify their feelings and traumatic experiences. 8 weeks course of personal development for these women to try to make them feel valuable, strong and at peace with their lives. Interesting in joining the project? We have Women’s gatherings every Thursday (23/02 – 04/04) at 10:30, in Honingraat; and every Friday (03/03 – 05/04) at 10:30, in Ru Pare Community.