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Teaching ESD to Refugees in Lesvos, Greece

November 21, 2018

I recently had the the opportunity to spend six days in Lesvos, Greece teaching empowerment self-defense to refugees in camps throughout the island.


While I was there, I taught three full ESD courses and one introduction to self-defense class. The participants were refugees from different countries, as well as foreign and local volunteers and local women.


I’d like to share some amazing numbers with you:


Seventy women from sixteen different countries received ESD training, in seven different languages.


The women laughed, learned to yell, move their bodies, set verbal boundaries, say NO, walk in an assertive, safe and alert manner, and trust themselves and their bodies to defend themselves with various ESD tools.


​​The first class was for Somalian women. I spoke English, which was translated into Arabic by an Iraqi ​​translator, and then into two different Somalian dialects by women from the group. In addition, there were also two Greek women, one translating for the other, one Australian and one American.