ON THE MOVE … WELLNESS INITIATIVE
On the Move is a wellness initiative of Peacemaker International, a charity operating from West Bowling Centre, Clipstone Street, Bradford. The project encourages socially excluded and isolated people (especially people from BD5 & BD4) to come out and get engaged in community affairs, including gentle exercises, indoor games, massage, walking in the park, health proficiency training that enables people to spend less and save more on healthy food.
The project started last year when a 75-year old African man died alone at home and not detected until after 5 days. Decomposed! Clients receive holistic support, including one-to-one support, group work, home visit for those who are house-bound, shopping and befriending. Clients are contacted regularly by staff and group members.
The group meets at Peacemaker International’s office to interact with one another in a friendly atmosphere. We specially encourage disadvantaged isolated people who live in the inner city of Bradford, including depressed, bereaved, disabled, unemployed and those living in poverty, regardless of their ethnicities, faiths and male/female to come on the project and enjoy our service. Coming out and interacting with other people will enable our service users to benefit from the use of modern technologies, including social media, digital skills such as online shopping. Survivors of domestic abuse and the sick who are lonely and depressed can benefit from the project, as the need arises.
One aspect of the project is funded by People’s Health Trust from 51 community interest companies raising money to address health inequalities across England, Scotland and Wales through The Health Lottery. The other aspect is supported by Big Lottery Fund through Awards for All Light Pilot to focus on African Elders and Friends who are located all over Bradford and district, as a community of interest, while the former is confined to a limited area of Bradford.
Recently, we celebrated the 90th Birthday of one of our elders, a member of the African Elders and Friends group. When Mama Clarissa was 90 on 18 December 2015, everyone was rejoicing and she also prayed for the group, especially the young ones, wearing her African native attire. At 90, she still cooks her own food and lives at home! She runs away from sugary food and has been teaching us various ways she uses aloe Vera.
GENTLE EXERCISES- STRECTHING OF HANDS AND LEGS
Within six months, we have already got more than 30 names on the list and one-third of these have started to meet or benefit from the project. We are currently intensifying our quest to reach out to those who may need our help, by doing a mapping exercise of African elders in Bradford and district.
FITNESS (FOR ALL) ALFA: LEARNING DISABILTY PROJECT
The project aims to promote the rights, quality of life and opportunities of people with learning disabilities and their families. Raise awareness of support and information available to people with learning disabilities. The idea of the project comes from the philosophy of ‘survival of the fittest’. The question we intend to answer is who will help those who are not fit to survive. We aim to make people with learning disabilities fit to benefit from society in which they live by raising awareness that they are people too.
This project includes hands-on activities such as: African drumming, dancing and cook and eat. It offers advocacy, outreach, befriending and special mediation and mentoring to people with learning disabilities and their carers.
The purpose of the project is to show that people with learning disabilities are people too. The purpose is to intensify that everyone has got the right to enjoy life to the maximum and that is why the project operates according to Equality and Human Rights Strands which are: Age, Disability, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Race and Ethnicity.
What we are doing with people with learning disabilities, which prohibits discrimination on the ground of disability, is in line with European Directive 2000/78/EC of 27th Nov. 2000. The project reduces discrimination and prejudice against people with learning disabilities as it supports Equality and Human Rights Strands which are Age, Disability, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Race and Ethnicity. It encourages the awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities.
EMPOWERING WOMEN FOR JUSTICE PROGRAMME: (Encouraging racial harmony, equality and diversity)
This programme is mainly for women and girls who are disadvantaged as a result of poverty which has affected their self-esteem.
The project aims to provide a proactive measure in a way that decreases the use of violence as a solution to problem. The purpose is to enable people to understand what to do when domestic abuse is about to start and where to seek help. It empowers women and girls to speak out and seek help when they are being forced to do what they do not want. The project attempts to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of culture, sex and religion.
When women are empowered (through training, workshops, confidence building, opportunities for working for themselves) it will promote equality and diversity. It promotes equality of women with men and reduces problems of religion among women, as the project promotes diversity and equality. This could reduce crime and tension in the community. We address this under our cultural awareness training and workshops. It creates a safe place for women and reduces isolation. It encourages women to speak out. It encourages women to address issues of domestic abuse, a forced marriage and child protection. It encourages reporting any incidence of abuse to the police. It encourages women’s rights as human rights.
We will use our knowledge and expertise to bring together people of different faith and engage them with their local community by organising multicultural activities, workshops and support services to empower women for Justice. We intend to address this through education and support. Our approach will emphasise the following 3 fundamental components of violence prevention:
- Primary violence prevention: making non-violence popular through education and mentoring.
- Secondary violence prevention: supporting and signposting victims of violence.
- Tertiary violence prevention: punishing and correcting violent behaviour.
WOMEN IN SAFE HANDS (WISH): Focuses on gender violence.
WISH is a project keen in the safety and protection of women and children through crisis intervention, preventing, educating, advocating, supporting, improving women and children's quality of life and empowering them for justice.
The project involves the following programmes, centred on survivors and those at risk and raising awareness of issues around:
- Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA), Forced and Child Marriages (FCM), Honour Killing, Relationship Problems, Dowry Related Abuse and
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), defined by World Health Organisation as complete or partial removal of external female genitalia.
WISH helps vulnerable individuals to voice out their opinions, providing emergency and long term support, crisis intervention and supporting women with complex interrelated problems through advocacy, including people with disabilities.
PROJECT ACTIVITIES AND HOW WE DELIVER THEM
Support aimed at providing specialist, culturally competent services to develop and maintain client’s ability to live independent.
- problem-solving and emotional support;
- breaking loneliness and isolation, awareness raising;
- help with immigration and Legal appointments;
- outreach, money management and help to settle down;
- developing social skills and social connections;
- support through criminal justice system;
- staying safe and secure;
- support to make positive changes through DVA Advocacy Support to allay the aftermath of abuse;
- self-help support leading to ‘Victims Advocacy’ to help with self-esteem;
- healing from childhood traumas for victims of FGM through PSYCHOLOGICAL ADVOCACY and developing positive and non-violent parenting skills.
In addition to training and workshops, we organise multicultural awareness-raising events each year to enlighten and educate the community and other agencies about the damaging and harmful impact of FGM and other gender violence as follows:
- March as part of International Women’s Day;
- June to celebrate Learning Disability (LD) Awareness Week and
- Family Fun Day (Summer Fair) in August/September.
Individuals are encouraged to access their rights to challenge norms, change behaviour, gain confidence to regain control of their lives. People with LD are supported to know what they should do when they are being touched inappropriately or about to be forced into marriage or relationship.
The project provides information and support clients who need to live full, healthy lives and to make positive changes. We support women on any identified issues to follow programmes that meet their specific needs and link them with other resources that may be helpful to them. The Staff helps connect services women are using and act as advocates with other agencies.
Through a series of interactive sessions, women and girl will learn more about issues relating to abuse and about ways in which factors such as gender, class, race, ability/disability, and sexual orientation increase a person’s vulnerability to Hate Crime. The project is committed to working with other social and healthcare providers to facilitate more effective responses to women and their children. Referrals and signposting between agencies ensure women receive the help they need.
AGENCIES WE WORK WITH:
We have set up a multi-agency group on FGM, comprising: legal representatives, Police, Healthcare providers, Just West Yorkshire, BACC, University/College, Anah Project, Staying-put, Bradford Women’s Aid etc, Education, Local Authority, Faith Communities, FGM Nurses (NHS), and Health Therapeutic professionals. Other organisations that may be working on FGM and gender violence around the world, including Forward and Rosa.
Projects in Nigeria
The work in Nigeria has started with a research on FGM and job creation. The feasibility study may take up to six months (December 2014). We have been bringing together some trustworthy people who will be managing the programme, including trustees and a project co-ordinator.
The work will include giving scholarships, business solution for those who intend to create a job for themselves and others and stipends to proven orphans and widows who want to fight for their inheritances.
It has been observed that relatives of the deceased often usurp what belong to the orphans and the widows. We intend to start from Osun State. The money to be spent in Nigeria will mostly come from the country through donations and funding-raising when the organisation is registered in the country, following the Federal Govt regulations.
We also intend to link with some other local NGOs, schools and higher institutions that have contacted us for our experiences and expertise and for Exchange Programmes in the future. These include Africa Peace Forum (Kenya), Peace Corps, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, based at OAU, The Link, OAU, Ile-Ife, Alliances for Africa (AFA), Lagos, Association for the Disabled Women (ADW), Ibadan, Women Aid Collective (WACOL), Enugu, Council of Nigeria People and Organisations and Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Nigeria. We are at present studying the way in which these orgs are operating.
A research has been carried out by a member of our team on domestic/women abuse in the country which needs an urgent reaction. We have planned to assist disadvantaged widows and orphans about their legal rights to inheritance according to the law of the land. At present, many women are thrown out of their matrimonial homes immediately their husbands die. We believe that something could be done through our organisation to reduce hardship for the children and widows.
As to the safeguards of funds, there will be quarterly reports from those who will be managing the project in Nigeria and regular visits to projects in Nigeria. Names and addresses and further details of recipients will be investigated regularly and they must agree for their names to be publicised for testimonies. Account will be presented quarterly and audited yearly.
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