AFiUK & our work with Women
The work we do with African and other ethnic minority women is focused in Oxford, and driven through the Women of the World space we have created as a result of an early research project we helped to facilitate in 2016-17.
The WOW (Women Of the World) Space in Oxford is a safe, self-referred space offering migrant women the opportunity to get signposting information and friendship, to foster their wellbeing. We set up regular training and awareness sessions on pertinent subjects as generated by the women themselves. The sessions run every Friday Term time only from 11:00 - 2:30pm. We begin with a gentle exercise session 11:00 - 12:00, and then training session runs immediately afterwards. There is usually a Food Bank delivery of fruit and vegetables after the Women's group. We meet in the Blackbird Leys Library, OX4 6HT
AFiUK has empowered individuals and groups with the necessary tools for them to become autonomous and independent. Our sustainability strategy includes partnership formation and cultivation of self-sustaining groups. Projects have included:
- A total of 66 African women, who formed focus groups to carry out a Participatory Action Research in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Oxford City Council. This research brought out the voices of the African community on the important issue of FGM legislation and education in the UK and it also led to the formation of the WOW space, in response to the research findings of the need of a 'Safe Space' for the women to discuss, learn and grow. The findings of this research were presented to the community in October 2017 and published in a Public Health Journal. (The prevention of female genital mutilation in England: what can be done? E Plugge, S Adam, L El Hindi, J Gitau, N Shodunke ... Journal of Public Health, fdy128, https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdy128 Published:
Some of our successful stories of empowering individual women
- Nepalese and Syrian women who mobilised and interpreted for community members at Open Dialogue Workshops in Colchester
- A Bangladeshi Muslim woman was trained as a Health Champion to deliver workshops within her community. This built her confidence and unlocked a passion for learning which has seen her progress to completing a University degree
- Julia Obasa, who we recommended for the position of a Trustee at Firstsite Art Gallery, Colchester, serving for a period of twelve months in this role, ensuring that African women’s voices were part of the operational mindset within this setting
- Alex Klokkaris, who we identified as a competent coach to work in our setting in Colchester, facilitating training courses and workshops at AFiUK, as well as running her own business Changing LifeCourse.