18/03/2021 Reflecting on International Women's Day and Virtual Communities of Support
International Women’s Day 2020 marks the last event that we were able to hold in-person at our Centre in Garnethill. As the first lock-down descended, our work moved online and at-distance. Now on International Women’s Day 2021- one year later- our Zoom Social group has developed into a community of support for families and individuals who are isolated, and an opportunity to craft, make art and play games together.
This Women’s Day, we celebrated the accomplishments of the women in our group and learned new things about each other along the way. We learned that some of us used to be involved in sports such as long distance running and playing basketball on a college team. Many of us learned how to drive a car back in our home countries, and now miss the freedom of being able to get into a car and drive anywhere we desire. Many of the women in our group speak up to 3 different languages. We have crafters, artists, cooks, musicians, and bakers among our group. And of course, our group includes many mothers- raising children in a new country, far away from family.
We also talked about women who inspire us. One of our members found inspiration from Margaret Hamilton, an engineer who helped NASA land a spacecraft on the Moon while also raising her daughter and defying social conventions about women in work in the 1960’s. There were also more personal stories. Many of us draw inspiration from our mothers and grandmothers- women who have lived through social upheaval and violence; women with big hearts who raised and supported their biological as well as adopted children; women who defied social conventions to start their own businesses and give birth unaided at home; women who crossed oceans to support their families; women who always had a word of support during difficult moments and a plate of food for anyone who was hungry.
We hope that this time next year, we will be celebrating Women’s Day in-person again. But in the meantime, our on-line group has grown strong and we will continue to share our stories and experiences with each other, and offer mutual support.
10/3/2021 An update on our work
What's happening at CWIN?
Our Foodbank is providing more food than ever before. Last week we delivered 135 boxes directly to families’ homes, plus some walk-ins which totaled 150 food parcels in total. Our food parcels are expanding to include ingredients for more culturally diverse meals. Each week we aim to include an ingredient based on requests from our service users such as cassava, maize meal, kidney beans, plantain, sweet potato and extra cooking oil and flour. We have also begun to offer feminine hygiene products. Providing these new ingredients has increased our costs and we have started a crowdfunding campaign to offset these. If you would like to share this campaign with your network, you can find it here https://www.givey.com/supportcwinsfoodbank?fbclid=IwAR0hbz9UpjRdf94IJrN7KB6hXJsS4hU43Ly2rXZ-m5r6JHIqE4yKDXjeUF0
We are collaborating with Mears to offer integration opportunities to people living in two hotels in the City Centre. We are providing snack parcels and phone top-ups, running Esol classes, hosting social projects, helping with registration for college classes, and offering volunteer opportunities.
We are delighted to announce that we’ve been awarded 28 devices from Connecting Scotland, a Scottish Government initiative, to help people get online and become more digitally skilled. Find out more about the programme at https://bit.ly/2U7J64Z
Our Women’s group has transitioned to Zoom and is keeping busy with activities ranging from cooking, sewing and crafting, to Covid information sessions delivered by NHSGGC.
We run Writing workshops over Zoom each Thursday, facilitated by one of our fabulous volunteers. This is an opportunity for anyone interested to explore different subjects with fun writing exercises and friendly conversation.
We run weekly Zoom Social activities every Tuesday. This is a project intended to combat social isolation, increase connection and wellbeing, and foster a sense of community during the lockdown. Each week we play games, have discussions on various themes, or share a craft project. Participants receive a pack with craft materials delivered to their homes before the session.
CWIN ran a February Break programme for young people on 9th and 10th February in partnership with the Glasgow School of Art. The programme involved 4 Zoom art sessions for the children facilitated by an art tutor. Children received materials in packs delivered to them at home. Children also received vouchers which parents could buy a healthy lunch and snack for the 2 days of the programme.