Consider how you will divide your functions between teams, if possible. The local team and the facilitators are in charge of structuring the work in each meeting.
The local team could be charged with compiling testimonies and relevant aspects in each workshop (the thoughts and comments of the women), “rescuing” their stories. Such commentary could be organized for publication in a magazine contributed to by all the women.
The women themselves should play a key role in defining who holds responsibility for all the goals they wish to achieve, and the steps they will take to achieve these. See the sample contract below for further information.
How to Start…
You should always aim to create a safe space for the exchange of thoughts, for getting to know participants, for conversation and sharing common reflections and situations. We want to create a space of emotional security.
It is necessary to remember that this is a space of reflection, a place to listen respectfully and in solidarity with everyone. It is crucial to the learning process to not judge or be judged, to not blame or be blamed, and to feel like a part of a group of women that get together to build a sense of community and foment changes in their lives.
Introduction of the purpose. Why are these meetings important? Why do we do physical exercises? The relationship these have with the mind, body, and spirit. The connection between emotions, feelings, and thoughts. The concept of integral health.
This is a task that aims to teach us to listen to ourselves, without judging or blaming ourselves, respecting ourselves in the places that we are. Listening to ourselves means realizing what is happening in our bodies, to feel it and reflect on how we can allow the pain to leave and thus heal our bodies.
Introduction of the participants and their emotions. How do you feel? How do you look to each other? Expectations of the women.
When we begin a new workshop
Not all the women will attend every workshop, although that would be ideal. At the beginning of each workshop all participants and facilitators should introduce ourselves, have new participants introduce themselves, and discuss how everyone has been since the last workshop, how they are, what changes everybody has noticed in our lives, and how they found the workshop.
Evaluation is ongoing and conducted after every session. Beginning with the contents, the level of participation, communication, group cohesion, resistance, etc., should all be evaluated. The evaluation of all meetings is important because not only will it allow us to get to know the interests of the women, their motivations, how we are influencing their lives, how they are feeling etc., but also will give us clues as to how we can improve our work.
It is important that, at the end of every session, the women anonymously evaluate the workshop (by way of a questionnaire) and also discuss it in a group setting. Each person should give a statement that summarizes her feelings or what they have learned in each session.
The facilitators should also evaluate what worked and did not work in the session.