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Moments of Freedom: International Women’s Day blog

Posted March 3rd 2021 by Moments of Freedom

International Women's Day blog - even Covid can't stop us: Choose to challenge! Photo of women in Moments of Freedom in a community garden, with the project logo and Outside the Box's logo on one side

Moments of Freedom: International Women’s Day blog

‘Even COVID can’t stop us: choose to challenge!’

The women from Moments of Freedom have decided to write a blog for International Women’s Day to share their journey over the past year …..and what a year it’s been!

What have we achieved?

“It’s been a tough year but we feel still meeting through lockdown with home schooling and children at home, has been a huge achievement for our group.”

Digital skills

The year has taught us new skills- learning quickly how to stay connected. We secured funding from the Scottish Refugee Council for digital equipment to stay in touch and support our families- we were able to ensure all Syrian New Scot families resettled in West Dunbartonshire were supplied with new tablets and Wifi sims.

Wellbeing activities

During lockdown at first, we all felt doing wellbeing activities was a good way for us to come together. Taking care of our wellbeing has always been important to us and during a time of such uncertainty, maintaining this space for ourselves helped us through those first couple of months.

Community links

Things at a community level were changing so quickly, it was difficult to keep up. It was a worry this would impact on our integration, but we made new associations with local community initiatives by going along to the Clydesider Community Response Network – it’s helped us feel we are still moving forward by making new links.

Funding and training

We started to embrace this new normal and wanted to make sure we were still going for new opportunities and challenges. Our links with a broader social connections project meant we could take part in developing digital animation videos hosted by Mind Waves – something we plan to put to use in our cultural awareness sessions.

Safaa, Amera and Noura took part in ‘How to write funding applications’ training hosted by the Scottish Refugee Council. We then secured a small grant from the Women’s Fund managed by Foundation Scotland to set up intergenerational conversation cafes with older people from Trust Housing in the Western Isles. We hope to have our first meetings set up in the next couple of months.

World Refugee Day

Niroz produced the most beautiful, touching artwork and poem to raise awareness on this day of the incredible journey refugee families have to take to find safety. Her poem ‘Sons of War’ and art work was published by the Scottish Refugee Council.

Photo of artwork showing people made of pebbles, with candles included.

Choose to challenge!

Our major strength as a group is that we take things step by step- growing in confidence all the time. Our drive now is to develop our cultural awareness sessions.

These sessions are about sharing what it is to be a Muslim woman whilst learning from others about their experiences and perspectives. Communication is key to understanding each other and makes coming together so much easier- for us, overcoming these obstacles and building our resilience is part of everyday life- it is who we are!

There are so many ways for us to challenge – we do it with co-operation and empathy every step of the way.

We’d like to thank West Dunbartonshire Resettlement Team funding and supporting this work.

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