Wafa & Dallal

My name is Wafa’a Abusharekh, and I come from Palestine. I have been in Ireland for five years. I’m Dallal Bounekdja, originally from Algeria, and I have called Ireland home for the past eleven years.

Our story began when, in 2019, we started training at Cairde on Developing Mental Health Peer Advocacy Services for Ethnic Minorities.

Before this training, we didn’t know anything about mental health. However, after finishing this excellent and beneficial course, we became aware of the importance of mental health, helping us a lot in our lives. We gained more confidence in facing and dealing with difficult life situations. We also learned a lot from the experience of others. Together, we developed a Mental Health Advocacy and Support model for Ethnic Minorities.

Now, we volunteer at Cairde’s Be Aware. Be Well. Migrant Mental Health Initiative and Health Connect projects.

We engage with the Arab and Muslim Communities to raise awareness of mental health problems and break stigma. We organize talks. We set up a Facebook page in the Arabic language for Muslims and Arabs in Ireland to continue raising mental health awareness and to be a point of contact for Arabs and Muslims looking for support.

We work with many clients suffering from mental health problems. We listen, support, signpost to services, and advocate.

We also raise awareness among service providers about mental health and Arab and Muslim Communities.