WIN is a peaceful and progressive environment for women to relax, work on healing and connect with their authentic self
Women In Need is an initiative to help provide healing and rehabilitation, with an emphasis on affordable accommodation, for refugee women and children and women in need of retreat – in a warm and compassionate environment.
There is a dire need for affordable accommodation for women in crisis and refugees. There is also a lack of adequate services for healing for refugees, women in crisis and women on low incomes who are wanting to retreat to heal from the stresses of modern life. Furthermore, resettlement, integrating new pathways, transformation and change require time and a conducive environment. (Read a report on the housing issue for vulnerable women here)
As a holistic counsellor I see the struggles women face in integrating new awarenesses and overcoming trauma in their healing path. The week to week counselling has its benefits and helps to manage anxieties and sadnesses in a slow and long term counseling model but the integrating process requires more of a lived experience . Having to tackle the everyday issues of housing, finances and relational challenges impedes healing and sometimes exacerbates the issues in the healing process.
WIN aims to fill theses gaps by providing a temporary (3 month stays) retreat style living space on a semi rural property in a group or community environment that is affordable and upholds all the elements of healing:
- onsite counselling
- group environment/sharing/bonding
- gardening – food/agriculture (self sufficiency)
- mindfulness practice
- art therapy
- sound therapy
- co-opertive decision making
temporary retreat style living space
There is a resettlement period for refugees as they learn a new culture, new ways of living, overcoming trauma and rebuilding financial capacities. Our project is specifically to help with accommodation affordability in a healing environment – to help the process of coming out of a detention centre environment and integrating into a new culture – as well as overcoming the vulnerabilities of related trauma, in a healing environment that is compassionate and offers onsite alternative healing opportunities and self empowerment processes – before moving into free settlement and tackling the resettlement issues of housing, language education ` and job finding (read more about these resettlement issues here).
The same issues are relevant for women in need, (which include but are not limited to) leaving behind emotionally or physically abusive relationships, leaving behind past negative lifestyle choices, burnout etc.. – healing is required, a time of integration is necessary, learning self sufficiency skills, reforming bonds with other women, self empowerment – before returning to the employment search or life goal fulfillment and/or financial independence and suitable housing.
Integrating new pathways and alternate healing
Moving through a past trauma, changing lifestyle patterns, overcoming old living models or a going through a burnout phase requires not only a safe home environment, but also time and processes, as well as a conducive healing environment – which allows for the transformation and healing to occur. Current research around the world is showing that mindfulness and meditation practices are reducing PTSD symptoms and various other mental health issues. Science knows that nature is a nurturer and Psychologist are beginning to introduce alternate therapies into their practice; as research is showing it to be beneficial to our overall well being. Read this article on a success retreat outcome for PTSD patients.
WIN offers daily (week days) group meditation, counselling, group healing, nature, relaxation, food gardening (growing, harvesting and making), hatha yoga, meal sharing, art making and sound therapy (drumming). All of this is done in a relaxed atmosphere, more as a lifestyle then as a structured system, however the group meditation will be at specific times as routine is vital to its success and all other activities are at the will of the individuals involved. WIN uses the depth hypnosis counselling model which is a combination of Buddhist Hindu and Shamanic practices to help navigate the healing process. I have use this in my own counseling process, with have produced impeccable results (80% success rate) in overcoming years of depression, anxiety and in some cases PTSD.
The aim is for it to be more of a home than a healing centre, yet with healing as an intentional and vital outcome. For example:
- Daily weekday holistic counseling sessions are available
- Daily group meditations and yoga practices available as part of lifestyle support
- A large organic food garden will be on the property that will require maintenance and care but each person can choose when and if they garden.
- Food harvesting, preparation and cooking together is encouraged. There will co-ordinated group meal sharing 3 nights per week.
- An art studio will be provided and the option of transformative art making practices will be available.
- Involvement in a group artwork for completion at the end of the stay will be encouraged. Led by an art therapist.
- Living in a group builds connection, bonds and life skills (read about groups as healing here)
- Nature is a healer and we encourage spending time with her in Wu Wie (doing non-doing)
- Fire gazing will be a part of the healing journey
- Rituals and chanting will be practiced regularly. These ceremonies will be available to all willing participants.
- Diverse spiritual and philosophical cultures will be present, allowing an organic flow of information sharing and healing. We hope to learn new ways as well
PRICING – WHY ARE YOU CHARGING
We believe a contributing factor to women becoming self sufficient and empowered is to be financially independent and responsible, along with being able to maintain psychological, spiritual and emotional well being. We have therefore decided to charge $100 rent per week. If each individual contributes a small amount to their living costs it gives them personal responsibility and empowerment and makes their living space theirs, as well as giving them a sense of FREEDOM. It also is a necessary financial contribution to the ongoing costs of sustaining the property – as well as reducing the need for relying on funding and grants for the costs and upkeep of the property. SELF SUFFICIENCY IN PRACTICE
We will also be inviting professional healing practitioners, from around the world, of various modalities to stay at the same rate – as an incentive to experience the retreat and enhance their capacities and knowledge of a lived healing experience or even for their own personal retreat.
ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
We are not able to assist with drug and alcohol rehabilitation. If you are needing assistance with this core issue another facility with experts in that field would be advisable. Although we encourage a alcohol and drug free environment, we understand that having a glass of wine with a meal can be a healthy custom and in some cases a tradition; and therefore do not make any restrictions on this. However, we do have a restriction on the amount of alcohol that is bought on the property! We ask that you be considerate and respectful of the intended peaceful and healing space.
We hope to have WIN property by June 2018 – with your support this will be possible!
Any donations are greatly appreciated!