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Women's Celebrations at our Daycentres

International Women’s Week coincides with the first days of spring, and it always is a special time for the SAO women: beneficiaries, volunteers and staff. We celebrate womanhood and solidarity and honour those amongst us whose very existence is testimony to the struggles of women around the world for equality, peace and security.

This year, the teams on Lesvos and in Athens participated with added excitement: Everyone is back to the centres and so many ideas, carefully nurtured and designed during two years of restrictions and more rules than one could memorise, were crystallised to specific actions.

Movie screenings in the mother tongues of our clients, inclusion workshops in collaboration with UNHCR, the production of a short video about what it means to be a woman, other interactive art projects, dancing and socialising in more relaxed environments, that included gifting of flowers and custom-made bracelets, are some of the activities that took place in the Amina and Bashira Day Centres throughout the first week of spring.

True to the meaning of the day but also to the meaning of rebirth that symbolises the coming of spring, on the island of Lesvos a new SAO project was born. SAO started offering guided tours through the city of Mytilene to displaced women, similar to the one that took place during Women’s Week. The tours focus on the multicultural aspects of the local history and provide information on the impact of women in the intellectual life of the island and beyond.

Monuments related to women, as well as some of the most important historical sites of the city, are visited by participants during a two hours walk. Briefly, Sapho’s statue at the square bearing her name, the statue of Liberty which welcomes ship and boat arrivals, the cave of the Nursing Mother and the statue of the Asia Minor Mother are presented to the group. Together, they visit a Mosque, a Catholic Church and an Orthodox church. The fact that they are built close to each other is a symbol of peaceful co-existence, a much needed symbol during times of societal turbulence. The diverse SAO group exploring the city is proof of the possibility of peaceful coexistence just like everyday life in the SAO Day Centres. Moreover, the tour programme serves as a valuable welcome for women who want to become part of Greek society and do not wish to be simplistically perceived as the inhabitants of a refugee camp.

The interactive art projects on the topic "Being a Woman" at Amina Centre and Bashira Centre


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