We’re proud to work with so many amazing organisations across Scotland run by, and for, refugee and asylum-seeking women. To mark International Women’s Day, here are a few of our favourites…

Amina – The Muslim Women’s Resource Centre

This award-winning sisterhood helps to address the key issues and needs of Muslim Women in Scotland. Amina offers a range of tailored support services, including a national helpline, a befriending service, employment guidance, and support for New Scots. The organisation aims to inspire, empower and support Muslim and BME women across Scotland by campaigning to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs are met.

Find out more about Amina here

ANYISO

Scottish Charity of the Year, ANYiSO, aims to end violence and discrimination against African and ethnic minority women and children. It’s a safe space where women can learn, grow and achieve their potential.  ANYiSO campaigns against domestic abuse, forced marriages, gender inequality and female genital mutilation. The charity also offers a drop in centre, workshops and training , IT skills and computer access, a kids book club, and English classes.

Find out more about ANYiSO here

Dundee International Women’s Centre

A multi-cultural ‘women-only’ space that provides educational, recreational and social activities for disadvantaged and excluded women from over 60 countries. The centre is passionate about supporting women and girls, from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, to flourish and achieve their goals. They offer a range of classes, qualifications and social groups.

Find out more about Dundee International Women’s Centre here

Glasgow Women’s Library

The only resource of its kind in Scotland, The Glasgow Women’s Library is dedicated to documenting and celebrating women’s lives, histories and achievements. The library runs workshops, training and social activities – including English language classes for New Scots – designed to empower women and help them to play an active role in their communities. They help to break down barriers and enable women – especially the most vulnerable and excluded in society – to get the information, resources and service they need to make positive life choices.

Find out more about the Glasgow Women’s Library here

Knit and Natter

Knit and Natter started out as a social group for local women who attend Ardrossan Episcopal Church. When Muslim refugees, hosted by North Ayrshire Council, began using the church hall for activities, they were welcomed with open arms.

The group told us: “We invited the women to join us. Some bring their knitting or sewing, others come just for the social interaction. We are still a small group, which makes it easier to get to know each other.”

Kurdish Women Community Group

This refugee-led community group brings women from Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran together to share information, talk about the issues that matter to them and support each other. The group, which is run entirely by volunteers, organise social activities and raise awareness about services and support that is available in the local community. They aim to reduce isolation, promote health and wellbeing, and help women build skills and confidence by encouraging them to play an active role in the group.

The Kurdish Women Community Groups meet each Saturday from 11.30am-2.30pm at the Kingsway Court Health & Wellbeing Centre in Scotstoun, Glasgow

MILK

MILK is a social enterprise set up to empower and support refugee and migrant women in Glasgow. They run a small cafe in Govanhill which provides women with a safe and welcoming place to meet, share ideas and learn from each other. The cafe serves up delicious food and hosts a variety of free classes and workshops for women in the community.

Find out more about MILK here

Moments of Freedom

Moments of Freedom is a project led by New Scots women in Clydebank, in partnership with Outside the Box and West Dunbartonshire Council. This family-friendly group aims to help build and strengthen relationships in the local community. They hold monthly gatherings, bringing people together in a relaxed space, where they can chat over a hot drink and a piece of cake, share experiences and learn from each other.

Find out more about Moments of Freedom here

Saheliya

An award-winning charity working in Edinburgh, Glasgow and other parts of Scotland to support the mental health and well-being of black, minority ethnic, asylum seeking and refugee women. Saheliya aims to promote well-being by combating the effects of discrimination and abuse, reducing the stigma around mental health, and improving access to mainstream services. The organisation offers a range of services from counselling and complimentary therapies to gardening, childcare and a learning hub.

Find out more about Saheliya here

Soul Food Sisters

This amazing group of migrant and local women from the East End of Glasgow have created a vibrant, female-led collective centred around their shared love of food. Their not-for-profit catering company runs a café and workshops which brings together women from all over the world. By swapping recipes, ideas and skills, they make each other’s lives brighter and develop their talents – both in the kitchen and beyond.

Find out more about Soul Food Sisters here

Take a look at our New Scots Connect Map to find more amazing groups and organisations supporting people seeking safety in Scotland. 
Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb