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Reisverslag Empowerment in practice
30 november 2013
Empowerment in practice
I shared some more information on various national FGC-organizations, big and small, and about practical challenges, such as continuous funding instead of temporary projects (which have to be started again and again and are creating a workload and insecurity). We also discussed the role of health care workers, lawyers and mediators, which can be no facilitators but have their role in information sharing. We also talked about the need for a neutral coordinator/facilitator and a neutral ground for the conference, to enable an equal dialogue (while for example doctors have some authority, which disturbs equality in the dialogue).
After this “information sharing stage”, we decided that the group would have “private time” to make a plan. This approach corresponds with the FGC-approach. So I left the room, and the group stayed to have their own discussion, to come up with their own solution and their own plan. In the hallway I could hear that a very intense discussion was taking place. Alina told me afterwards that several members had expressed their emotions in the discussion, which is exactly what happens in the private family circle (no theatre, which happens when outsiders are present).
After about an hour, just before lunchtime, I was called back in the room and the organizational plan made by the group was presented to me as the facilitator. I was truly impressed by the comprehensive plan that was made by the group. They had made a list with core areas of work, concrete actions and responsible persons.
The plan comprised concrete steps to be taken, such as registering the group as an official organization (the protocol was already prepared before and by now almost final, and it only has to be signed by the members). There needs to be an office and equipment, which can be arranged by the end of the year with the help of UNDP, and staff which will be trained for the various roles. The members of the group had divided the organizational roles already. A set of actions and responsible persons was presented, ranging from fundraising, PR, lobbying, human rights monitoring (including monitoring visits), human rights advocacy, strategic litigation on several cases, participation in decision making (at policy level and relevant agencies) and service provision such as Family Group Conferencing, and awareness raising at police and institutions, international cooperation and so on. A working group on including users from Transnistria (on the other side of the river) will be starting next week on Wednesday. The list of actions was concrete and ambitious, and very impressive.
Also a time frame was included: After establishing the formal user organization, the substance of various projects (monitoring and service provision such as FGC) will be drafted and started, and teams will be set up for monitoring, lobby/advocacy, fundraising, helping individual cases and so on. At that stage the FGC-project will also be started and FGC facilitators will be identified and trained. All steps were concrete and realistic. The group had made a very professional plan, which is empowering on itself: Yes they can!! This was a very successful session, where everything from the past few days came together (the FGC-methodology and the capacity building of the user movement). The group is ready to start acting.
At the end of this session, it was a good moment to get back to the offer I made yesterday, to donate about 100 euro (2000 lei) from Stichting Mind Rights to the Moldovan user movement, to enable the formal registration and start of the group. This was a happy moment for all of us. I am so grateful to be able to contribute something meaningful to my brothers and sisters in Moldova, and of course the group was grateful too. It was really a warm vibe.
The training programme had ended, and we all went to the dining for the lunch. After that we went walking to the river Nistru (Dniester) close by, which provides water to all the population of Moldova. We took some more group pictures there, and had a pleasant walk back to the Vatra resort. There a mini van was waiting for the participants to go back to Chisinau. I was going by car with Arcadie and Alina, to go to another hotel in Chisinau for my final night stay. So we said goodbye to each other. It was great to be part of this meeting, and I will come back in January 2014 for another FGC-training which will also include government officials, and which will be facilitated together with Rob van Pagee (European FGC trainer).
At around 4.30 I arrived in Hotel Dacia in Chisinau, and I spent my evening with internet and a nice meal in the hotel-restaurant. Tomorrow morning I will have some free time, and I will go into the city with Alina to buy some delicious Moldovan chocolates and cookies to bring back home for my upcoming housewarming party in the Netherlands.
I feel very good about the entire meeting here. I am proud to be part of this inspiring group event, and to be able to contribute meaningfully in terms of empowerment. This position fills me with gratitude. From my own experiences I know how much it means to find support instead of being marginalised, and that is why I am so happy to be able to do something. We all know life is very hard for people in Moldova, and especially for those who face psychosocial problems. They are the marginalised of the marginalised. I truly believe this group of (ex)users and survivors of psychiatry can and will make a difference in Moldova, and improve the situation for persons with psychosocial problems and their families. I feel connected in heart and spirit to this group. It is a wonderful experience to be here.
1 december 2013 09:00 | Door: je moederr
Goed werk Jolijn!!
En een goede reis naar (je nieuwe) huis!