Motherhood and its Experience During the First World War
On the 29th of August 2018, Diversity House held an advocacy workshop on ‘Motherhood and its Experience During the First World War’ in collaboration with Big Ideas at Swale CVS. Cassie and Emily from Big Ideas commenced the workshop by asking the participants what remembrance and commemoration means to them.
Next, we wrote our names on paper and went around the room introducing ourselves and telling one another what our names were, how we got our names, and what they mean. Still on the topic of self, each one of us drew a picture of ourselves on a long roll of paper and attached words to each part of our bodies.
After that, we had to compliment ourselves in the third person. We learned that complimenting yourself is not vain and that sometimes we forget to give ourselves some credit and overlook our achievements.
Following that, we did a listening exercise in pairs where we had to listen our partners tell a story for 2 minutes about themselves and vice versa. Then when we finished, we had to tell everyone our partner’s story. For the next activity, we read and analysed some letters written by mothers and sons during the war. We also shared our thoughts on what we got from the letters.
Once we had lunch, we did arts and crafts. We got to write and design postcards; it could be one as a mother, a son, or as yourself. I
Overall, everyone found the workshop thought provoking and engaging, and I have to say that it was one of the best workshops that I have ever been to!
Comments from the Participants
I didn’t know what to expect when I came to the advocacy workshop. I got to speak to other people, which was interesting. Reading the letters by mothers and sons during the war was like reading a historical book. I really like the way they used words in their letters. I was able to connect with different people from different backgrounds.
The workshop was very interesting. It was an opportunity to think of women who lost their children.
It was insightful to learn of the plight of mothers during the war.
I enjoyed sharing thoughts, feelings and being able to express myself in the card making.
It was a great group to work with and they were very engaged with the subject.
I got to see the value of motherhood and that any woman can be a mother; whether biological or a mentor. I liked putting words to each part of our bodies; I thought that it was powerful that you can attach something that is emotional to something that is physical, e.g. Feet with compassion as that can feed your soul. Also, I enjoyed the listening exercise. It was interesting to see how we use language to understand and sometimes misunderstand one another. During the letter reading, I liked the way the mothers and sons used their words carefully to express their feelings in their letters and I sensed their desire to get their letters to their loved ones. All in all, motherhood is challenging, and I found it easy to connect with the disappointments of motherhood.
The group were fantastic and vocal. There were great insights and perspectives. I discovered new things from this workshop which is part of the project that I have been working on for a long time. The thoughts from the participants were thoughtful and great.