VALUE OF COMMUNITY SUPPORT
GEM identified a need to provide support and supportive networks to those young people that decided it was time to live a creative and full life.
We realised this before the global pandemic hit in 2020. Never did we begin to imagine, however, how the need for GEM weekly Community Support Webinars would be so well timed around the need for young (and not-so-young) to seek information, knowledge, resources, and other support mechanisms (referrals to our clinical and other networks).
The value of community should never be underestimated in these challenging times, and neither should it be taken for granted in the good times! GEM’s aim with its webinars is to celebrate the differences of individuals, but also to keep connecting them through their similarities.
Each webinar hosted was presented by a passionate leader in their field or in their community at large, and was curated in such a way that these events could become part of our GEM Model, with its pre-existing toolkit of resources: coaching, emotional literacy development and decision tools, music, artistic insights, referral services, and so on.
Below are a few online resources that were most popular out of over 25 webinars in our library. The GEM community lives not just via social media, but in newly formed memories that the webinars beautifully captured!
Scroll down this page and watch three fantastic GEM community support webinars!
GEM Webinar: On Guilt & Forgiveness
On Monday 4 May 2020, the GEM community came together for a group discussion hosted by Angé Weinrabe, GEM’s Founding Director. In this webinar, our audience was taken down the philosophical ‘rabbit hole’, talking through topics usually discussed in a university setting and not often debated in a public forum.
Our community engaged with Angé for two hours on the concepts of forgiveness and guilt, the latter sometimes referred to as an emotion, but questioned by some scholars and instead referred to as a ‘state-of-mind’.
In this webinar, we gave our audience time to question why we allow such states to limit our agency in the world. Working with material from historical and contemporary philosophers, scientists, artists, and poets, we unpacked guilt as widely thought of as a ‘virtue’ in relation to one’s duty or responsibility, but that we argued is disabling (especially when leading to anxiety if not addressed).
We also unpacked forgiveness as another internalised state that impacts our lives in positive and negative ways.
GEM Webinar: ART & PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT
On Monday 24 August 2020 the GEM community heard from Ruqayya Rizwan, an experienced Art Therapist.
An entrepreneur in her own right, Ruqayya is a trained professional with a Bachelor of Design focused in Communication Design from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. She has done some extraordinary work in her local community – using Art as Therapy – mainly with young people who are underprivileged and who need much psychosocial support.
Ruqayya worked as one of the Art Leads with GEM at our GEMAH-KB19 Arts and Health program in Karachi. We saw the impact she had on our workshop participants, allowing emotion – positive and negative – to help them navigate the creative process.
In this webinar, Ruqayya shares with us her unique insights and experiences in Art Therapy, the importance of creative expression in releasing certain emotions and understanding why these feelings arise, and how to relax the body during this whole process (of art-making!).
Ruqayya takes us through one of her practical art activities; this process really gets everyone in touch with their breathing and their emotions. Participate along with the group if you can, using pen, paper, and markers or brushes/watercolours!
Our online webinar audience got to experience play – a valuable tool in our GEM Method – as one means of psychosocial support, where the group enabled much awareness and reflection on topics that most feel only they themselves question and carry around.
GEM Webinar: OVERCOMING OBSTACLES THAT IMPACT DECISION-MAKING
On Monday 7 September 2020, the GEM community heard from Liezl Hiten, a wonderful special-needs school teacher in South Africa.
Based near Johannesburg, living in the densely-populated city of Bloemfontein, Liezl works in the educational system supporting the most challenging of young people, who have either through socio-economic, political, or psychological influences been raised to resist authority and, in turn, resist learning.
Coming to us from a pre-recorded video (due to the time difference for South Africa), Liezl speaks about her work, the South African education system, the kinds of challenges her students face, how adverse childhood experiences impact on young people and their decision-making, and how all of us (friends, teachers, parents, peers) can help young people make it through their challenges through a combination of loving support and discipline.
GEM’s webinar audience, led by Founding Director Angé Weinrabe, then together discuss their responses to Liezl’s wise words and further reflect on young people, decision-making, and emotional maturity.