A short field immersion formed part of a knowledge sharing workshop held in Beirut Lebanon for World Food Programme country offices staff from Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.
Six participating refugee families were invited to host the WFP visitors. The selected households included female- and male-headed households, small nuclear households, blended households, intergenerational households and households with people with disabilities.
The families themselves decided what topics workshop participants should learn about and how they would learn this by engaging in specific activities. Workshop participants were assigned to these families in teams that were as gender balanced as feasible. The activities selected included taking care of eight children, while doing the laundry and the dishes in a small room, assisting an elderly disabled person, sitting in one dark small room with nothing to do, preparing a Fattah dish and doing the dishes in a flat with no running water.
In reflecting on their immersive experience, each of the WFP participants were invited to provide an overview of their participating family, and to reflect on four questions (below) followed by questions and comments from the entire workshop group:
- What are the gender issues that you saw?
- How do they intersect with other social characteristics?
- What did you learn as a person from this immersive field visit?
- How is what you saw and learned relevant for WFP programming (or not)?
"The exercise helped me to think critically. It invited me to check if we are really doing what we say. It made me look at our own data and realise what they do not tell us."
"The point of the field visit for me is not doing the dishes. I already do that every day in my own life. What makes it powerful is that it helped me to imagine what it means emotionally, to make an emotional connection."