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KMEWO’s quarterly news

Recent activities and events (January – March 2015)

Advice and information
Despite a decrease in funding, KMEWO has continued to provide advice and support to women from the Kurdish, Middle Eastern and North Africa communities on issues affecting their daily lives. With the help of our Advice Worker, KMEWO continued providing practical and emotional support, advice and information for Kurdish and Arabic speaking women from our offices in Caxton House, In this period we held 174 one to one sessions, of which 83 DV, 35 welfare benefits, 56 on other issue such us debts, immigration (victims of DV and HBV) and NRPF. In this period, we had 2 MARAC referrals. This service is provided by our Arabic speaking advice worker Hanan Juba with the support of our dedicated volunteer Majida.

Samira Project
The Samira Project, an Islington Partnerships Project for BAMER women who are survivors of domestic, sexual and honour based Violence, is in full progress and already bringing great results. We referred two cases to MARAC in Islington and delivered a total of 52 one-to-one crisis intervention sessions.

Women’s empowerment programme:
Our Project manager Gona Saed and Development worker Zekiye Kartal have been very busy organising a range of courses, workshops and awareness raising sessions for Kurdish, Middle Eastern and North African women in Islington, Haringey, Camden, Enfield and Westminster. The following are some of the sessions delivered;

Women Learning for Living Project:
15 courses are delivered from 7 different venues as followed:

–       5 x ESOL Entry 1, 2 and 3 at Muslim Welfare House, Finsbury Park
Mosques  & Jannaty Women’s Social Society at Islington.

–       3 x ESOL conversation and support at Muslim Welfare House

–       2 x literacy L1 and L2 at MWH and FBM

–       1 x confidence building,

–       2 x IT basic and intermediate at Islington library.

–       2 x Employability at Abby centre and Daban Kurdish supplementary school.

 Have a look at some photos from our classes in KMEWO’s website gallery: http://www.kmewo.com/photo-gallery/

ESOL E1 class
Workshops, Training & Outreach:
1Female Genital Mutilation awareness workshop (FGM) – this session took place at the Jannaty Women’s Social Society, on 10th Feb 2015. 18 women attended this workshop, which was facilitated by Sawsan Salim. In their feedback most of the women said that they did were previously not aware of the dangers of FGM. Their feedback on the Workshop was extremely positive and all women agreed that such information need to be more widely available.

 2-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) training
We organized FGM training for ESOL teachers at Islington Adult Community Learning on 16 February, which was attended by 19 teachers.

3- Outing- on 11 March we took a group of 10 women from Finsbury Park Mosque to the Jeffrey Museum, and on 23 March we took another 10 women from Muslim Welfare House on the same trip.

4- Safeguarding children and young people and equalities training:

Together with Race & Equality Foundation we organized a Safeguarding children and young people and equalities training on 25/03/2015, which was attended by 14 volunteers and staff

Aweza Newsletter in Kurdish Sorani:
After a big gap in publishing (Aweza) Newsletter in Kurdish-Sorani, it has restarted publication. Issue 17 just published electronically from KMEWO’s website focusing on FGM amongst Kurdish women, information on prevalence of FGM, world statistics, and types of FGM, policy and legislation in the UK, reports and analysis about how to tackle FGM. You can find it in this link: http://kmewo.com/kurdish/?p=615

 Volunteering placement 4 women volunteers have been recruited and placed on a three month (January – March 2015) as part of our volunteering project. Examples of training undertaken so far by the volunteers are;

1-    Social Media Training
2-    Fundraising
3-    Word& excel
4-    Safeguarding children and young people and equalities
5-    HBV & Forced Marriage

Networking events;

* Employment and Equality Objectives meeting in Islington on 24 February 15.
*  FGM Forum Conference on FGM on 20 March and the project manager had   opportunity to talk about our work on FGM.
* Sudanese Refugee Organisation conference on 8th of March, KMEWO’s chair Dr. Janan Al Jabiri shed light on women’s situation in Iraq Meeting in Islington on 27 February 15.
* Enfield Conference on FGM on 20 March and the project manager had   opportunity to talk about our work on FGM.
* Sudanese Refugee Organisation conference on 8th of March, KMEWO’s chair Dr. Janan Al Jabiri shed light on women’s situation in Iraq affected by ISIS. The event held at St. Ethelburga’s Centre for reconciliation and peace.

  • Finsbury Park Women’s Group Network.
  • Islington Refugee Forum & Health Watch Joint Meeting on Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Work in Islington on 26 March 15.
  • “Elthorne Pride” Steering group meeting.
  • MARAC sub-group meeting, and Clare’s Law meeting.
  • The Director had 2 interviews on Clare’s Law with Islington with NOW newsletter and London is FEM.

 KMEWO International Women’s Day activities:
Just like every previous year, KMEWO celebrated IWD with peer and sister organisations as well as women and their families from Kurdish and Middle Eastern communities in London.
-On 6th March 2015, Gona Saed, Sahar Nuhi and Ghada Al-Kadi represented KMEWO in the ‘Supporting Refugee Women: Domestic Violence’ Event organised by Evelyn Oldfield Foundation at the London Metropolitan University.
– 7th March 2015, KMEWO and International Federation of Iraqi Refugees Co organised a seminar and social event for Kurdish community residents in Islington and the neighbouring boroughs. KMEWO’s director Sawsan Salim spoke about the new challenges facing Kurdish women at the times of war in Iraq and Syria.
-On Sunday 8th March, KMEWO and a number of other Kurdish and Middle Eastern women’s organisations including Kurdish Women Rights Organisation, Kurdish Women’s project, Rojhalat Women’s IKWRO and Gorran Women organised an afternoon of panel discussion, poetry and socializing in Greenford London. The event was attended by several hundreds of Kurdish families.

Gona Saed and Sawsan Salim from KMEWO were amongst the panellists. The panel discussion focused on the challenges women are facing in different parts of Kurdistan and the Middle East in their fight for equality and liberation. Among the issues discussed were institutional discrimination by states and political forces, the effects of war in Iraq and Syria, the sexual violence and sexual slavery faced by Kurdish women after the emergence of ISIS in the Middle East since June 2014 and the role of women in opposing religious fundamentalism.

Full 8th March 015 report in this link: http://www.kmewo.com/news/kmewo-2015-iwd-activities/

KMEWO would like to acknowledge the generous support from its funders, i.e. Big Lottery Fund, Henry Smith Foundation, Islington Council, Rosa Fund, London catalyst, The City Bridge Trust and Trust for London.

 

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