KMEWO is very proud to have reached the finals in the National Lottery Awards for the title of Best Voluntary/Charity Project Category this year.
The Awards are an annual search to find the UK’s favorite Lottery-funded projects,and they aim to celebrate and recognize the difference that those projects have made to people, places and communities all across the UK.
A Big Thank You from the team @KMEWO for all those who voted for us as well as our supporters, especially the leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn, Islington Council, Mayor Kat Fletcher and the leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Watts and John Muir from VCS.
KMEWO’s Women Learning for Living project supports disadvantaged Kurdish, Middle Eastern and North African women in North London suffering from discrimination, cultural barriers and human rights abuses. The women learn English, IT and develop employability skills as well as how to adapt and make the most of British society.
Having fled civil wars, facing state and gender persecution, domestic violence and so-called honor killings, the UK should be a safe haven for many Kurdish, Middle Eastern and North African Women. However, KMEWO’s report which formed the backdrop for the project found these women effectively exchange one set of difficulties for another as they struggle to find work, set up homes, or from domestic violence.
KMEWO (Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation), which started out as a self-help group in 1999, used a Lottery grant to employ a project manager and development worker, teachers’ fees, room hire, learning resources, travel expenses for volunteers, refreshments and certificates to deliver the Women Learning for Living programme.
The women and girls helped by the project struggle to understand a culture vastly different to their own, with poor English skills coupled with years of religious and political persecution and other human rights issues. Their low confidence previously prevented them from accessing services and many were found by the project to be effectively hidden from society.
Through Women Learning for Living the women and girls take classes in English, employability skills and child care, delivered by 15 volunteers.
During the first three years, the project took place in more than 20 different venues including community centres, primary schools, mosques and a church. A survey of 750 women who took part in courses and outings found that 80 per cent felt their confidence had improved as a result.
Read the full Lost in Translation No More report here.