Somalian women’s sewing group in Oxford

Ayian Sigal (MSc Public Health) with a member of the sewing group

Ayian Sigal established a sewing group for Somali women, held in the Rose Hill Family Centre. Following her work with the Oxford Somali Forum it became clear that the women would like to improve their English and computer skills, and learn to sew. The funds were spent on traditional Somali fabrics, equipment and on childcare. In collaboration with a local woman who volunteered to teach sewing skills for free, the workshops were an enormous success.

Running the project in parallel with her studies meant Ayian was able to apply and reflect on what she was learning through both routes. In addition to creating things and learning a new skill, Ayian also felt the women in the group were feeling less isolated since they could talk together and share their experiences and problems.

The sewing group has continued to thrive. Ayian was also contacted by local Arabic and Swahili women’s groups for advice in establishing similar projects.

As often happens with Student Community Fund projects, many more benefits have come out of this initiative than were anticipated and the impact continues to spread. Thank you to all our alumni who have made this project possible through their support of the Brookes Alumni Fund.

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