Migrants moving to the Netherlands often only start processing their journey once living here. This is not always easy. Sometimes there are traumas, or intense alienation. It is not uncommon for this to cause addiction or other issues. With this project we want to lend a helping hand.
Using National healthcare is often too big a step to take for migrants. One might not know the way, or there might be a cultural taboo on visiting a psychologist (“now you’ve really lost your marbles”). Additionally, there are countless language and cultural problems, which, even if contact is made, make for barriers to overcome. However, many migrants do call upon churches for spiritual support. This could, for example, be because of mistrust in national institutions and authorities due to their country of origin.
The Foundation of Faith Integration is therefore developing a new course for migrants to help them cope with their traumas. the foundation is developing both a course for men and a course for women. Both groups have had traumatic experiences but there are differences in the kind of trauma's men and women have and in how the cope with them.
Freedom Focus Female
The Foundation of Faith Integration develops a course especially made for women with a migration background to help them to cope with their traumas. Women learn during the course to talk about what happened to them in the past, how they deal with this at the moment and how faith can help them.
At this moment we are running a first pilot. Weekly a group of women from different cultures meet in Gouda. We speak about topics such as:
- Coping with trauma
- Self image
- Living with your man
- Living for your children
- And much more.
The group is led by a pastor, an experience expert, and an expert that knows more about psychology. The women discover how the past has affected them and how they can deal with their situation now. The course is based on insights from psychology and insights from the Bible.
When the pilot round is over, the material will be reflected on and things will be adapted so that the material can be published for general use by interested groups in the Netherlands.
Freedom Focus Men
In 2020, the foundation has developed ten lessons for men based on a number of brainstorming sessions. These lessons have now been tested in a pilot group in which participated among others Arab and Burmese men The pilot proved successful and was in line with the target group. During the evening courses, themes such as trauma, addiction and problems from the past were discussed. On every evening course, attention was paid to basic psychological elements as well as to the Christian faith.
In the coming year we hope to test the material among a few other groups so that we can then make the material available to all migrant churches and organizations that need it. The material is intended for small groups in which people go out together and want to take steps to promote their recovery.
You can now order the basic Freedom Focus course under ‘Material request’. The course costs €50. The course material consists of a manual, worksheets per evening various powerpoints and evaluation forms. You can download the material after your order. With the help of your contribution we can develop new material. For example, the foundation is developing at the moment an in-depth course for Freedom Focus. This follow-up course will be published in early July.