Wellbeing and Resilience Retreat: Call for Participants

Wellbeing and Resilience Retreat: Call for Participants

Background

Sex workers face high levels of violence, discrimination and exclusion. These diverse forms of violence impact sex workers at an individual level, but also the sustainability of organisations and movements.

Structural forms of oppression - in particular those relating to class, race, and gender - also impact sex workers, especially those facing intersectional forms of discrimination. Trauma, burnout, and interpersonal conflicts are issues that have a profoundly negative impact on sex workers’ lives and on our movements. Despite this, insufficient resources are allocated to address them. In particular, very little attention has been paid in the sex workers’ rights movement itself to the complex interconnectedness of personal wellbeing, collective care and political change. The COVID-19 pandemic has also dramatically exacerbated these challenges. Over the last years, mental health issues such as depression and burnout have become more common in our movement.

 

The Sex Workers’ Wellbeing and Resilience Retreat

With the support of the Oak Foundation, ESWA is proud to announce its first four-day retreat for 15 sex worker leaders in the movement and most at risk of burnout. 

The retreat will address issues such as structural oppression and its impact on sex workers’ rights activists and the movement more widely. This is a unique opportunity for sex workers most at risk of burnout to create a space where they can share their experiences, process and learn tools to improve resilience at individual and community levels.
Priority will be given to sex workers from specific communities who are more at risk of trauma and burnout - in particular migrants and racialised sex workers; LGBTQI sex workers and survivors (of violence and abuse). However, all interested sex workers are welcome to apply.

 

In the retreat participants will be able to:

  • Recharge, relax, reconnect - with themselves, other community members and nature
  • Understand how historical oppression and personal trauma impact well-being and sustainability of activism at individual, community and organisational level
  • Learn from qualified trainers and each other on mechanism of burn out, how to prevent it or manage it - individually and collectively
  • Develop skills to increase collective knowledge of burn out, impact of vicarious trauma* (when dealing with community members' victimisation, violence, oppression..)

*sometimes also called compassion fatigue vicarious trauma is the latest term that describes the phenomenon generally associated with the “cost of caring” for others (Figley, 1982)

 

Where and when?

The retreat will take place in the beautiful landscape of Catalonia in the Vidalia centre. The Vidalia’s project is located in the former Colonia Vidal in the province of Barcelona. Colonia Vidal, also known as Cal Vidal, is an old textile colony. The site is now included in the Inventory of the Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

It is located in the middle of the forest, next to the bed of the river Llobregat but also easily accessible from Barcelona by bus.

The retreat will take place from the 1st until the 4th of December 2022. Participants will arrive on Wednesday the 30th of November before dinner and leave on Sunday the 5th of December after breakfast.

 

About our retreat partner: the Ulex Project

The retreat will include various workshops led by professional experts. It is developed by The Ulex Project in collaboration with ESWA team members. The Ulex Project offers high-quality training building social movement capacity for social justice and ecological integrity. They have a residential training centre serving the needs of social movements for the long haul. Ulex collaborates and innovates to enable the responsive development of social movement training in Europe. Finally, Ulex is a hub strengthening connections for pan-European solidarity and social movement resilience.

 

How to apply?

The retreat is open to sex workers part of an organisation member of ESWA (to become a member organisation click here

Priority will be given to sex workers from specific communities who are more at risk of trauma and burnout - in particular migrants and racialised sex workers; LGBTQI sex workers and survivors (of violence and abuse). However, all interested sex workers are welcome to apply.

We are aware that not everyone feels comfortable disclosing personal information about their own experiences and the retreat does not require to deeply dive into this.

Retreat participants must be committed to the whole duration of the retreat.

ESWA is covering travel and accommodation costs and the costs of the retreat.

Please apply here!

Deadline to apply: 25 September, midnight CET

For further questions please contact [email protected]

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