Strong women and healing herbs
Violence and material hardship are omnipresent for many women in the poverty-stricken districts in and around Concepción. In response to this situation, the Development and Community Education Service of the Methodist Church of Chile (SEDEC) is committed to a women's programme for disadvantaged sections of the population in the Concepción region. This project aims to foster holistic development for those affected by these problems. For example, participants learn non-violent methods of dealing with conflicts, and they acquire basic knowledge about health and diseases. They also learn how to produce simple medicaments based on healing herbs. SEDEC is part of the social work organisation of the Methodist Church of Chile.
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Work with women's groups is underpinned by three key elements:
Transfer of basic knowledge about health, diseases and alternative treatment methods, with the aims of strengthening the participants' sense of self-worth and making a small contribution towards relieving pressure on the family budget.
Fostering personal development and providing additional information about women's rights. Domestic violence is another focal issue.
Organisational training is also provided so that the women's groups learn to organise themselves independently (courses on leading an organisation, courses on developing social projects, and support with securing legal recognition as an organisation).
In addition, there are courses for health professionals and specialised agencies dealing with gender-based violence.