Update on peer support in Athidiya
Our peer support groups started this week in Athidiya with much more success than any had envisaged. Dorian and Lorna, the two trainers, currently working with Samutthana, a mental health charity in Sri Lanka have shown great commitment to establishing this project and sharing their knowledge.
The women’s group met on Friday evening over a cup of tea and two of our newly trained facilitators did a wonderful job of explaining to the group what it was all about and how they were there to help the group support each other. Lorna took a back seat with an interpreter so that she could listen to what was being said and offer feedback and support to the facilitators if needed. The 7 women who attended had some good discussions and are keen to attend again this week promising also to spread the word to others in the community.
On Sunday, 21 men met with Dorian over a game of cricket. Again, 2 facilitators from the community did a marvellous job of organising the game and over a cup of tea at the end were able to explain the purpose of the group and start the discussion on how they can all support each other.
Both projects are a huge development for Asha. All are aware that those living in the community face huge issues on a daily basis but often have little emotional support or a chance to share their problems. What has been most rewarding is the enthusiasm of the men involved in the project; we have often thought about how we can engage them more in the work of Asha and this project seems to be an ideal way.
The staff team in Athidiya have been instrumental in ensuring the success of the project and we will all be working in the coming weeks to ensure the momentum of this project is sustained so that it can develop and be a real long-term to support to people in need in the community.