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Somali Women”'s Health Support Group CHAT

Somali Women”'s Health Support Group CHAT

“If you educate a woman, you educate the nation.” - African Proverb The original plan for the Somali Women”'s Health Support Group CHAT was to promote communication, understanding, and support among women of the Somali community who have children in the judicial system by creating spaces and systems for them to talk, connect and assist each other. The aim was to provide women room to express themselves and to explore ways in which the cultural systems of discipline could be used to avoid the intervention of the US judicial system. The hope was this effort would help to maintain the balance and harmony of the community. However, after forming the group and receiving special training on how to interface with the prison system, it was discovered by the women that they would not be able to visit the prisons wearing their hijabs or head scarves for the sake of their own safety. By this time though, bonds had formed between the women and they had shared other ways they could increase the health knowledge. This is achieved by: teaching families their culture; empowering community members in grassroots leadership; conducting community education workshops on civic engagement and health issues; preventing tobacco use; and offering parent workshops bringing families together to solve problems and bridge understanding. (more…)

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