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Moments of Freedom Recognised for Community Development Work

Posted December 10th 2019 by Rhiannon

The Moments of Freedom group was recently recognised in the Council for Ethnic Minority Volunteer Organisations awards ceremony, where they were runners up in the Community Development category of the Ethnic Minority Impact Awards

The awards ceremony, organised by the Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations (CEMVO) Scotland was held at the Glasgow Crowne Plaza Hotel – to recognise individuals or organisations that have contributed to Scottish society or made a difference to their community locally or nationally. The keynote speech was given by Equalities Minister, Christina McKelvie MSP.

Moments of Freedom was established in 2018, with support from community development charity Outside The Box and funding from the Home Office via West Dunbartonshire Council. It was named after the moments that the women have to focus on themselves and their wellbeing as a group.

It is a project led by Syrian women who have resettled in Clydebank with their families having had to flee the war in their home country. Moments of Freedom work hard to make meaningful connections across their local community and in sharing their learning across Scotland for the benefit of other new Scot families.

It has now been running for over a year and in that time the women have shaped their project to beyond integration – they have become skilled in community scoping, to identify gaps for women’s wellbeing and developing space for women to come together across the community. They regularly hold ‘community gatherings’ and women’s wellbeing events.

Speaking about the project, Jill Keegan, community development worker said:

“It’s been so inspiring to watch the women develop as a group, and see the impact it has had, not just on their own lives, but on the lives of other women in Clydebank. The fact that they were runners-up for this award is a worthy recognition of all the hard work they have put into trying to make their community a better place – for everyone in it.”

The story was featured by local community magazine, the Clydesider.

It was also in the Clydebank Post

In this piece, Gil Paterson, Clydebank’s MSP, told the Post:

“These women were forced to flee their war-torn homes to find safety and a future for their children here in Clydebank.

“Having met the group of Syrian refugees a week after they first arrived, I know there were many anxious moments. Setting up this initiative and making it a success after the trauma they have been through is a huge achievement.

“These women have made a great contribution, not just to their local community, but to the whole of Scottish society and they richly deserve the recognition and credit they’ve received.”

Learn more about the group in this video:

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