Thomas, K. (2020). Sacred Connections: Using Faith-based Narratives to Create Matricentric Empowerment Spaces for Syrian Refugee Women. Social Work & Christianity, 47(3), 16–32. https://doi.org/10.34043/swc.v47i3.79
Sacred Connections: Using Faith-based Narratives to Create Matricentric Empowerment Spaces for Syrian Refugee Women
Christian social workers are called by both faith and professional ethics to welcome refugees. The Syrian conflict has created the largest refugee crisis the world has ever known, and while women and children are extremely vulnerable, the unique needs of refugee mothers are often overlooked in both policy and practice. Great importance is placed on motherhood roles in both Western and Arabic cultures, and providing targeted support to uplift refugee mothers can have significant positive ramifications as Syrian refugees resettle into their new lives. Guided by Brené Brown’s insights on empathy and drawing parallels from crossover stories of Biblical women in both Christian and Islamic traditions, the author uses sacred connections to build empathy and enact social change. This paper highlights ways that Christian social workers can adopt a matricentric (mother-focused) approach and provides a recommended interfaith model for intervention with Syrian refugee mothers.