The world is witnessing the largest flow of people fleeing for their lives from war, conflict or oppression since World War II. Forced to leave their homes they come to our shores and our borders seeking refuge and now account for one in every 113 people on this planet, and growing. One person is forced from their home through violence, war and persecution every 3 seconds. In the time it will have taken you to read this paragraph 16 people will have been ‘displaced.’ Humiliated, homeless and traumatised their dignity has also been ‘displaced’ in the process. One of the most repeated phrase said by refugees is ‘I used to be somebody.’
The Dignity Diaries ™ programme forms the basis of Le Menach Foundation’s original campaign call to redefine what Dignity & Honour really mean and launched at the United Nations in 2014. This programme expanded into different areas looking at the role that dignity, honour and identity, shame, guilt and humiliation, play in different cultural settings and situations.
In collaboration with Erasmas+ this programme now includes refugees and the challenges of refugee integration. The Dignity Diaries refugee integration project not only offers refugees and displaced persons the opportunity to be heard from the perspective of dignity lost and regained, but the opportunity to strengthen their employment opportunities through E4’s Employability programme.
Silence means indignities go unrecognised, unacknowledged or worse still, ignored. The Dignity Diaries enables insights into the lives of people from all over the world sharing their stories and experiences of how dignity, honour, shame and guilt has interacted with their lives and the lives of those around them.
The Dignity Diaries are also resources, teaching tools and mirrors, that reflect back the indignities and histories that all of us can learn from.
Our partners on this programme are engaging in the production of 5 Dignity Diary pilots that will reflect the experiences of people in whose life they are trying to make a difference in terms of self worth and agency, through listening and learning from them, and helping to improve their access to employment.