My name is Foziya, I am a gender-based violence officer at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-Church Aid Commission, Refugees and Returnees Affairs Department (EOC – DICAC).
I have been working with refugees, internally displaced people and other vulnerable women and girls for the last seven years. I am basically working with gender-based violence (GBV) survivors who experienced different types of trauma, violence, and inequalities like loss of empowerment. So, we’re always standing up for the rights of a woman and to increase awareness of women about their rights and to fight violence against women and girls.
I have recently joined EOC – DICAC in the last six months. It is quite a different experience for me, because we’re focusing on responding to the violence that women and girls have experienced — like violence, or family trauma. We are responding by facilitating the health part and psychosocial part. Here in DICAC, it differs, especially in the Act for Peace project because we’re responding to GBV survivors as well as we are leading them to be self-reliant. Because it’s like a quite emotional service, I can say that once the survivor comes to our case management rooms, we can provide them with counselling, assessing what happened to her, like what was her experience? So, we can facilitate different services based on her consent, based on her needs.
After that, we also have the chance to increase her potential to fight even against violence for either her sisters, or other committee members as well as for herself. We can give opportunity to join vocational skills training because most of the time survivors may have repetitive stress, depression, loss of interest to talk with others, with neighbours or with friends. So, this vocational training package, this works to re-juvenate their social network systems. When they come to the training centre, they can talk to their peers, their neighbours — it is like a huge difference in their psychosocial part.
Because I am a woman, I have to stand for a woman. No one can understand it even better than me, I believe this. I’m working and facing different types of challenges, even as a staff or as a duty officer. So, you will think like a woman, I have to respond or I am responsible for this. I have two kids, two daughters, when you see them at home, you have to care — your mission or your goal is totally to see their happiness, to see their wellbeing. So, I have to stand for those women and girls because I’m a woman and even in the society we have a lot of challenges from different parts you will face. You have to start the journey to fight against violence, against inequality.
*Name changed for safety reasons
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Local Partner Profile: EOC DICAC, Ethiopia
Act for Peace’s partner in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter Church Aid Commission, Refugees and Returnees Affairs Department (EOC DICAC) supports refugees who are survivors of gender-based violence with four main types of support; psycho-social support, vocational training including business start-up kits, health care, including medical referrals, and raising awareness on topics such as gender-based violence.
Currently, your gifts contribute to providing vulnerable refugees with the much-needed care and support they need to be empowered in the face of the many challenges they might have experienced.
Foziya is one of the amazing women offering this support and she feels passionate about leading women towards a future where they are able to recognise and understand their worth while providing a safe space for them to heal and grow.
Your partnership is making a difference!
Last month, Act for Peace Partners like you came together and raised $43,038.64 to support people uprooted by conflict and disaster around the world.
- For all the amazing support staff who are leading with incredible strength and versatility, and all our local partner staff at EOC-DICAC in Ethiopia, who continue to support people uprooted by conflict and disaster.
- For the people of Ethiopia who continue to be affected by trauma and grief, may their lives be happy and safe in the future.
- For the families of those affected by war and natural disaster all around the world, including in Syria and Türkiye, Afghanistan and Ukraine as they continue to work through hardship.