Initiated by Zarghona Rassa, an experienced, well-known Afghan journalist, the British Afghan Women’s Society was set up with the help of seven other Afghan women living in London at the Migrant Resource Center (MRC) in Central London
Since February 2001, we have managed to come a long way and be at this point where we are today. Below is a summary of past projects:
Current projects and activities of BAWS include most of the same and additional services. BAWS has established excellent relationships with the other third sector organizations, local authorities, Trusts, networks, businesses and individuals in the UK and globally during the past nine years.
All Trustees, staff and volunteers developed skills, qualifications and experience for mutual benefit of the organization and their own. Many women have moved to more mainstream volunteering and employment.
Launch of our warm home project supporting young Afghan Girls. Awards ceremony for our Community Food Social Enterprise project was held.
This year highlighted the 10th Anniversary of the organisation. To mark this occasions a new video was filmed called ’10 Year’s On’. An Afghan Cultural Day Event was organised at Brent town hall to celebrate the 10th year of the organisation. To continue the celebration BAWS celebrated Nawroz and the 10th anniversary at the Afghan Embassy. Our new website was launched.
We conducted a Feasibility study in January 2010 with a small grant from Adventure Capital fund to ensure our work with Afghan women involved in catering was a positive programme. We encouraged women to become much more involved in the catering industry and together we set up Afghan Senses Catering Project to ensure employability and business development.
The women also attended college courses at Southgate College as well as customised courses with a small grant from the GLE in health & safety and other aspects of catering. Many women took part in a food hygiene course at college as well. Afghan Senses project was the result of all this work.
We continued with the work on our HLF application which has borne fruit in that we have been successful in securing a grant to deliver a community History Project to document the journey of Afghan women in Britain.
We have also delivered a number of workshops and other activities to enlighten, motivate and encourage Afghan and other Refugee women to become more involved in their community.
We also continued our work with Unaccompanied Minors from Afghanistan and also engaged in workshops, trips and visits of interest to our many young people.
We took part in the LBE Cultural Olympiad in Edmonton Green shopping Centre and raised quite a bit of money towards our ACT4Education charity in Afghanistan by offering henna art to the public. This was really successful.
We attended an exhibition at Shoreditch town hall to highlight the difficulties faced by the Afghan people in collaboration with an author who has written widely on the war in Afghanistan. Our Afghan Senses Catering Project provided the refreshments for this event.
Organising of and International Conference (Afghanistan, Our Country Our Future) in London. Sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the High Commission of Canada in London.
Developing a Social Enterprise project for Mobile Catering Service for women, currently working with Southgate College on Afghan Food Day.
Expanded out activities to London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Hounslow and partnership work with the London Borough of Croyden and unaccompanied minors.
Unaccompanied Minors Project with paid member of staff employed for two years; registered in Afghanistan; and making of documentary film on Afghan Women: Burden of History (DVD) or for commercial viewing: Fear Behind the Veil on youtube.
Registered with the OISC for Immigration Advice and first paid employed staff.
Education, social and sporting activities for women, children and youth.
Becoming a registered charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and added services.
Advice, information, education, interpreting for women and children, and newsletter.
Official objectives and constitution accepted, opening of supplementary school and office in the L.B Enfield.
Meetings, networking, newsletter published in Dari and Pashto.
BAWS values are very much centred on community cohesion and encouraging our Afghan community to integrate with the rest of the school and local community, without compromising the cultural identity and aspects attached to being an Afghan youth living and making UK their home.Lammas School & Sports College
“I learnt how to talk to other people who I don’t know and this has made me more confident and I made new friends”
“Watching the Afghan heritage, it reminded me of a different Afghanistan, of a passive Afghanistan, of a society where people breathed and nourished, and where societies mingled with the country around “
“This is such a wonderful project you are embarking on – I am excited and privileged to be involved with it”Volunteer for DAWN project
We used Afghan Senses to cater for our project celebration event. Everything arrived on time, and proved very popular with everyone attending it was delicious and generous! I would definately use them again for other events.