Women Arise – to honour, empower and equip Afghan women and others to be the best they can be.
This project was born out of a vision to see Afghan women in Leeds supported, cared for, and built up. Because of lived experiences from members of the committee, there is a desire to use these experiences to help and support women who come from overseas in Leeds who are struggling. While there is some focus on the Afghan community, the project is open to ALL women from ALL backgrounds drawing women from new and settled communities.
We will carry out weekly sessions at Leeds Refugee Forum. The sessions will be centred around activities, which will focus on beauty therapy, women’s health, parenting skills, emotional well-being, citizenship issues, employability, social issues (domestic violence, child sexual exploitation, trauma, safeguarding), etc. which will help women grow in confidence and integrate well in society. These areas have been expressed as areas of need by the target group and we aim that planning for sessions will be participant-led.
The aim is to generate an atmosphere of fun, friendship, security, and inclusiveness where they feel safe returning each week. English conversation and improving English skills will be a by-product of this using the skills of two ESOL teachers in the committee.
These 2hr weekly sessions will include a variety of activities, presentations, workshops, and designed short-term courses and signposting to appropriate support. Sessions will be practical with hands-on and kinaesthetic activities that will allow for the diversity of topics to be addressed. We hope that people will be able to share their skills in these different areas and build relationships. We will invite experts to present topics to us or lead activities as appropriate. Activities will be relevant, interactive, and engaging.
Our stated aims in the Constitution are:
- to connect with the Afghan Community and others, the local authorities, voluntary and other organisations in a common effort
- to advance and provide facilities in the interests of the social welfare of the women offering a space for recreation and leisure time with the aim of improving the conditions of life for them
- to equip women by imparting skills, knowledge, and confidence to make healthy decisions and thrive with the ultimate aim of reducing poverty and disadvantage
- to promote healthy lifestyles and emotional well-being
- to provide a wide variety of opportunities for learning, English conversation, some ESOL learning, and fun activities
- to signpost women to the appropriate support they need