Karibu (meaning ‘welcome’ in Swahili) was set-up in 2004, responding to a need to provide support to the refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Glasgow at that time as past of the Asylum Seeker’s Dispersal Programme. The work of Karibu Scotland really is helping to develop new skills, new contacts and ultimately to build confidence of all the women involved.
The funding provided by the WFS have allowed Karibu Scotland to
- Recruit new volunteers from across Glasgow as they are now able to support volunteers with travel expenses and child care.
- Volunteers have been taught how to use different types of machines
- Volunteers are now able to trace the paper patterns from commercial patterns that are available in shops
- The volunteers are now in the process of making a skirt using different types of materials
- Our existing volunteers continue to learn different sewing techniques and they can make different patterns. Some of them are learning how to support new volunteers to build their confidence
Karibu run multiple projects throughout the city to promote the confidence, skills and integration of African women and have recently developed Karibu Fashions, which teaches women sewing and dressmaking skills. As a result of the grant secured from the Women’s Fund for Scotland, Karibu Scotland have been able to make headway in their plans for the future and their plans to make Karibu Fashion a well known brand.
They see volunteering with Karibu as an important step on the path to paid employment for many of their users as it helps to build confidence and key skills. Volunteers are mainly sought from the local African women and refugee population in the West of Scotland.
Gurdeep from Mauritania joined Karibu as a member in 2009. “By attending the drop in sessions, I felt like I had found my family, we had something in common: we were all women, most of us had children, we came from Africa and we were struggling to integrate into Scottish Society. I moved on from this volunteering role and then became a paid member of staff and became office manager. I learned ICT skills by completing an HND in Computer Technical support and developed key personal skills, e.g. working within a team and effective communication skills in September 2012. Although reluctant to leave my position at Karibu to go back to University. The whole work experience has strengthened my confidence. I am who I am today through Karibu Scotland”.