On Thursday 12th. September 2013 the Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation held a joint Annual General Meeting (AGM) and a student graduation award ceremony at Caxton House Community Centre, 129 St John’s Way, London N19 3RQ. A total of 70 women and men attended the joint event, Kate Furniss from Islington Council, Michael Idowu from the Local Accountancy Project (Peckham), and Paul Furze from Caxton House. A reporter from the Turkish weekly paper (Olay) in London was also in attendance to cover the event.
The event started with an introduction from the Director of the Organisation, Sawsan Salim, who expressed her delight that so many people were present. She reminded the meeting that the Organisation has been around for over fourteen years, over which it has helped to transform the lives of many women from Kurdistan, the Middle East and North Africa from domestic violence, other forms of human rights abuses, poverty and isolation. She was completing their course work in ESOL (E1, E2, and E3), Literacy and ICT as part of the Women Learning for Living project. She gave a brief history of the project and the magnificent role of Antonia Rosati in its development. Unfortunately, she said, Antonia has found new opportunities and is no longer with the Organisation. Gona congratulated the women for their achievements, and highlighted the fact that many of them had very little of no previous education. The project is managed by Gona Saed and funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Generous with her appreciation for the support received from staff members (Gona Saed, Antonia Rosati, Hanan Babakir and Zakiye Kartal), volunteers and the Management Committee. The Director also thanked our funders, in particular; the Big Lottery Fund, Henry Smith Charity and Islington Council.
Following on from the Director’s introduction was the student graduation formalities, which was presided over by Gona Saed. Sixty women were awarded certificates for attending and
After a short break for refreshment, the recently appointed Chair of the Organisation, Janan Al- Jabiri, opened the Annual General Meeting. She began by saying that it was her first year as Chair of the Kurdish & Middle Eastern Organisation (KMEWO) and that she would like to thank her colleagues for entrusting me with this challenging and exciting position. She also expressed her gratitude and appreciation to the Director, staffs and volunteers for their co-operation and support, and that she look forward to having a productive time with the Organisation.
All the formalities were adequately covered, including the Minutes of the previous AGM, presentation of the Annual Report and the Annual Accounts, which was presented by Michael Idowu from the Local Accountancy Project (KMEWO Auditors).
The Chair thanked everyone for their attendance and the many helpers for helping to make the event an unqualified success.