Wellness and Self-care for Young Women Leaders and Women Human Rights Defenders.

Wellness and Self-care for Young Women Leaders and Women Human Rights Defenders.

Women’s International Peace Centre organized a series of webinars with Women Human Rights Defenders and young women leaders from South Sudan on promoting self-care and healing through rituals. The objective of the webinar was to help women to reconnect with each other and learn how to take care of themselves before they take care of others, especially for those that engage in defending human rights and advocating for young women’s representation and participation in peace processes in South Sudan.

The webinar also shared tips which encompassed both personal and organisational healing practices with the aim of supporting women human rights defenders and the women they support so that they can apprehend wholeness, be whole, and create wholeness.

The webinars were cohosted by Centre for Inclusive Governance, Peace and Justice (CIGPJ) and Crown the Woman both based in Juba, South Sudan and Women Human Rights Defenders Network-Uganda.
The sessions included Self-care and healing tips like;

How do you start your day in such a way that you are rooted, grounded, disciplined and motivated?   How do you ensure that the children and other household members know that you are working and respect that?  How do you keep to the working routines?  
Without grounding, we are unstable; we lose our centre and spend our days day-dreaming when in actual fact we are supposed to be working.  Through grounding, we gain nourishment, power, stability, and growth. When we are grounded we enjoy our work, even if we are working at home and on our own. We can embrace stillness, solidity, inner security and clarity.  We can also ground out stresses of everyday life and increase our vitality. We are rooted and that which has roots will endure.

Being part of a strong and dependable community strengthens one’s individuality by supporting the expression of enjoyment of one’s unique gifts and talents. An authentic community wants to see all its members flourish and function at optimum potential. Create a community within the workspace that follows rituals. It gives a sense of belonging. Sense of belonging is a form of security, a safety net.

Art is a universal language and what better medicine for global pandemic than a global language? There is no eART without art. Art may involve painting, designing, music, poetry, and dancing.

The increased burden of tasks, often undertaken with reduced access to food, medicines and recreational facilities, can be physically, emotionally and psychologically draining. If individuals are to keep up energy during this difficult time, it is the fire that will liberate you from fixed patterns and create new behaviour. 

The nourishment and support of the nature grants us the feeling of belonging that allows us to expand and grow. Our well-being depends on this feeling of belonging; walking barefoot, the fresh smell from the trees, the scenery can be helpful in handling stress and workload.

Other tips include
• Physical exercise to keep body and mind active.
• It is important that we communicate and effectively. Try to listen and learn to say no when need be. Often times we are afraid to reject additional work for fear of being looked as negligent or unserious with work.

“This is all about sisterhood and valuing our wellbeing. this session is to give us tips on how to ground, love and center ourselves as Women Human Rights Defenders who can transform communities but starting with ourselves.” Juliet Were, Deputy Executive Director at The Peace Centre explained why we do this work.

The Executive Director of Crown the Women, Riya Yudaya expressed her joy in having the conversation on self-care and healing and emphasized the importance of its inclusion at both personal and organisational level.

Jackline Nasiwa, Executive Director, CIGPJ also appreciated the presence of the South Sudanese participants in the space. ‘Sisterhood and inclusion in this session of selfcare is critical at this time when we are prone to burn out” She said.


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