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Hirmanaa fi hubanoo uumuu iratti

Buu’aalee

Ergamni projektii karaa amantaa fi qo’annaa amayaa fi qama gargartoota hirmachisuun darara adaa qabessa qo’anoowaan kallatti adda adda sakata’uu danda’uu dha. Yeroo amma pirojekktiin lubbotta mana amantaa ortodoksii darara adaa qabessa off irraa ittisuu irratti akka dalagan qophessu dha. Lubonni hubannoo tiyolojii umun yaada adaa qabessaa fudha’aa fi wa’ee saalaa dhimma kan irratti midhaa isaan fidan hirisuu dha. Dbalataniis pirojektiin dhunfaa dhaabilewan hirmachisuun dhimaa amantaa ta’ee irratti fi qo’attotta amayyaa irratti hubanoo guddisuu (bal’isuu) debbi hawaasaa barbaachisaa ta’ee akka kennan gochuu dha. Walumaa gallatti amantaa adeemsa darara adaa qabessa hambisuu irratti gahee isaan qaban ola’aa ta’uu issatiin agarsiisuudha kalattii adda addaani fi yaada walqarqaaruun walti fiduu dhaf rakkoo furuu dha.

Buu’aalee

Project dldl/ድልድል met with the Norwegian Church Aid in Addis Ababa to explore integration and evidence-sharing

9 November 2021

Today the project dldl/ድልድል team visited the offices of the Norwegian Church Aid organisation in Addis Ababa. Dr Romina Istratii was invited by Programme Advisor on GBV Mr Mengistie Tegenie to create connections and explore synergies and possible integration across their respective projects on GBV and domestic violence working with faith actors and theology. Mr Tegenie presented the NCA’s working model in Ethiopia, lessons learned and specific activities in addressing GBV and other gender-related issues. The team was later joined by NCA Director in Ethiopia Mr Eivind Aalborg, who shared with Dr Istratii the organisation’s beginnings and progression in Ethiopia since 1974 and discussed the importance of integrating more research-based approaches and rigorous assessment for achieving a dynamic learning within and across social impact projects. Both sides agreed to meet again to discuss a possible long-term partnership and areas of collaboration, such as in capacity building for conducting rigorous research and integrating each others’ activities to achieve scaling out effects.

Project dldl/ድልድል has trained over 150 Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo clergy in Amhara region of Ethiopia

4-7 October 2021

In the past week, the project dldl/ድልድል team delivered two more workshops with Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church clergy, completing training of over 150 EOTC clergy in year 2020. The workshops are organised in collaboration with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Development and Inter-Church Aid Commission (EOC-DICAC) in Ethiopia working through the Church structure and with the support of local diocese offices. The workshops were designed by Dr Romina Istratii on the basis of previously completed long-term anthropological research with EOTC clergy in northern Ethiopia, and seek to improve the clergy’s preparedness to respond to victims and perpetrators sensitively. The workshops include ethnographic findings on domestic violence and faith, theological material to clarify Church teachings on marriage-related issues and domestic violence drawn from the homilies of St John Chrysostom, safeguarding training focusing on the need for confidentiality and non-judgemental approaches to avoid re-traumatisation/retaliation, and legal and referral information about domestic violence. The workshops are delivered in Amharic and include reflection exercises, group activities and scenario and case studies and are facilitated by Dr Romina Istratii and co-delivered with the support of two trainers, deacon and psychology counsellor Mr Henok Hailu and attorney and consultant in law Ms Beza Birhanu.

Project dldl/ድልድል delivered two-day training on research ethics in domestic violence to research team in Eritrea

23-24 September 2021

Following a competitive application process, project dldl/ድልድል has selected six female and male researchers to co-produce and conduct field research on domestic violence in Eritrea engaging diverse religio-cultural contexts and communities. The recruitment was followed by a visit of the project’s  Eritrea Coordinator, Ms Mebrak Ghebreweldi, to Eritrea to meet with the research team, obtain further approvals and support for the project and establish the Eritrean Advisory Board to guide the direction of the project in the country for maximum and relevant impact. The trip was combined with a two-day training on research ethics and safeguarding in domestic violence, data management, intellectual property and publishing delivered virtually by Dr Romina Istratii, Lead of the project, from Addis Ababa Ethiopia where she is based. The training was successfully completed despite electivity cuts and Internet connection challenges faced by both sides during the two days. During the training, Dr Istratii and the researchers discussed the research objectives and approach in Eritrea and explored how to proceed with the research in a culture-sensitive and inclusive manner, prioritising the safety of potential victims of domestic violence throughout the process.

Project dldl/ድልድል met with the Peace and Development Centre to explore collaboration on trauma-centred initiative in Tigray

1 September 2021

Project dldl/ድልድል met with colleagues at the Peace and Development Centre in Addis Ababa to share lessons and explore collaboration in a trauma-centred initiative that seeks to respond to war violence, including SGBV, in Tigray region. Dr Romina Istratii shared findings from an extensive literature review that explored psychosocial responses in conflict and emergency contexts, drawing attention to complex trauma and the anticipated increase in domestic violence and other forms of violence during and post-conflict. She emphasised the need for responses that combine society-wide support with psychological clinical counselling as per individual need.  Project dldl/ድልድል and PDC colleagues also discussed the centrality of the clergy and religious beliefs in the life of the local communities and identified ways of effectively engaging the clergy in awareness-raising and collective trauma healing processes. The meeting concluded on the note that project dldl/ድልድል and PDC should continue to share knowledge and work to identify ways of collaborating in an integrated manner in the future.

Dr Romina Istratii consulted on UK's response to the humanitarian crisis and extensive SGBV in Tigray region

23 July 2021

On Friday, Dr Romina Istratii met with colleagues from the British Embassy in Ethiopia and the UK’s FCDO department in order to discuss the current humanitarian crisis in Tigray and appropriate responses to extensive SGBV in the region. Dr Istratii was approached due to her specialised research in the region and as a result of the more recent work conducted within the context of project dldl/ድልድል that explored the relationship between war violence, mental health trauma and domestic violence. Dr Istratii discussed thoroughly the need for evidence-based religio-culturally sensitive approaches that leverage on productive collaborations with local researchers in Tigray and Ethiopia and more reflexive community engagement approaches that do not perpetuate colonial dynamics as seen often in the humanitarian sector.

Project dldl/ድልድል team visited Erk Mead mental health trauma healing centre to share experience and explore collaboration

24 May 2021

Project dldl/ድልድል visited the Erk Mead mental health trauma healing centre to share experiences and to explore collaboration and opportunities for integrating their respective work. Dr Romina Istratii and Ms Tigist Waltenigus, the CEO of Erk Mead, discussed at length the lessons learned from the organisation’s work on mental health trauma, the need to provide culture-sensitive support that considers how communities and individuals in Ethiopia have traditionally thought about mental health and to integrate faith as this is an important parameter in everyday life for most Ethiopians. Dr Istratii shared her research conducted previously in Tigray that had explored the role of faith and the clergy in marriage and situations of domestic violence and spoke about the need for faith-based treatment approaches for perpetrators and psychosocial support for victims/survivors. The two also discussed the mental health of the clergy and the need to support religious personnel psychologically to address their own traumas and to be able to respond more effectively to the traumatic experiences of the individuals they support spiritually.

Dr Romina Istratii visited Debre Birhan, North Shoa Zone in preparation of workshop delivery with Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahәdo clergy

18-19 May 2021

The team of project dldl/ድልድል successfully launched a series of 10 workshops to build the preparedness of Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahәdo clergy in Debre Birhan to respond to domestic violence in their communities. The first workshop, which lasted two half-days, was comprised of discussion, group activities and presentations led by the delivery team, comprised of Dr Romina Istratii, deacon and psychology counsellor Henok Hailu and project assistant Ms Liya Desta. The team was also accompanied by Mr Aklil Damtew, the project coordinator at the partner organisation, EOC DICAC. Participants included 22 members of EOTC clergy from the area of Debre Birhan and the surrounding countryside, of different rankings. At the end of the workshop, participants were handed free booklets containing summaries of the workshop content, including experiences and understandings of domestic violence from the countryside of Ethiopia, theological teachings on marriage, spousal cohabitation and domestic violence and safeguarding protocols when advising victims and perpetrators of violence to minimise risks. Workshops were recorded to be assessed for research purposes, and assessment questionnaires were filled in by participants to review the quality and usefulness of the workshops.

Project dldl/ድልድል visited the offices of JeCCDO in Ethiopia to explore integration approaches

6 May 2021

Project dldl/ድልድል visited the offices of Jerusalem Children and Community Development Organisation in Gurd Shola, Addis Ababa to explore potential for knowledge exchange and opportunities for integrating its activities with the work of JeCCDO. Dr Romina Istratii and the Director of JeCCDO, Mr Mulugeta Gebru, along with other colleagues from project dldl/ድልድል and JeCCDO discussed the nature of their respective projects, their approaches working from the ground-up with communities and the importance of integrating religio-cultural parameters and stakeholders in approaches to address community issues. Mr Gebru shared many decades’ experiences about the successes and challenges of JeCCDO and approved of the decolonial, evidence-based approach of project dldl/ድልድል and the project’s trust-based approach to achieving integration with other organisations working in local communities.

Dr Romina Istratii discussed collaboration potential between project dldl/ድልድል and EMIRTA (እምርታ) Research, Training and Development Institute

20 March 2021

Dr Romina Istratii met with EMIRTA director, Mr Zinawork Assefa, and a group of colleagues comprising the new EMIRTA Research, Training and Development Institute to explore collaboration and further knowledge exchange between the two initiatives and how project dldl/ድልድል could help to promote the institute’s strategic goals. EMIRTA colleagues praised the approach of project dldl/ድልድል to emphasise ethnographic and participatory approaches to research on religious and gender issues, condoning the need for raising more awareness in the country around cognitive and scientific colonisation and stressing the need for substantive engagement with indigenous knowledge and wisdom, including in addressing the issue of domestic violence in Ethiopia’s religious societies

Dr Romina Istratii presented research completed in Aksum at EOC DICAC

8 December 2020

Dr Romina Istratii presented the results of her research completed with clergy and laity in Aksum to explore domestic violence attitudes and realities to the director of EOC DICAC, Mr Yilikal Shiferaw, the head of the Department of Health, Mr Bantamlak Gelaw, and project staff, Mr Aklil Damtew, at their offices in Arat Kilo, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Following the presentation, which the audience found highly accurate and insightful of Ethiopian rural realities, EOC DICAC agreed to enter in collaboration with project dldl/ድልድል to disseminate the evidence and put it to practice, such as by facilitating the delivery of a series of workshops with clergy in Ethiopia.