Lead Organisation:
Kurdish Women Community Group
Award Amount:

The group proposes a programme of wellbeing workshops and basketball sessions for young Kurdish girls. This involves peer mentoring and activities to build confidence and improve self-esteem, to give the girls the tools they need to explore their ambitions and develop a healthy lifestyle.

The wellbeing workshops will encourage young girls to work on themselves to share their worries. In these sessions our girls will be free to talk about key issues that have affected them and how as a group we can work on these.

New Scots reached
Key Information

We will encourage and show our girls to take a step forward by engaging them in their own community group and transfer this engagement to their own local area. This will help them to build self-esteem and work on their future dreams and plan for further engagement with the wider community and establishing their life in Scotland. Also, it will help us to know our young people’s talents and abilities through the basketball and wellbeing sessions. This will help them develop their abilities and ambitious regardless of their community challenges.

Key Information

Geographical reach


Target Groups

Asylum seekers, Refugees and Young girls

Project Type

Spreading good practice


This volunteer group is run by two Kurdish women who have been working with the Kurdish women’s community since 2017. Since then we have had regular contact with our members and gained great knowledge about their key issues. We have supported members in their day-to-day ongoing needs,  signposted and advised them on specific services for asylum seekers and refugees. We carry out regular meetings with the community members and volunteers to discuss the issues they are facing. During the pandemic we had these meeting over zoom.

The women have raised concerns about their young girls not having the confidence to join activity clubs in local areas and saying that they suffer from low self-esteem. We have monitored that the young girls have low engagement when we have mixed kids’ activities as a community group. There is a need for this project specifically as many of the girls are transitioning into being young adults and they are faced with traditional Kurdish cultural expectations that are not taught in school.

Involvement of New Scots in project

The Kurdish women’s group is run by Kurdish women from a refugee background. We carry out regular meetings with the community members and volunteers to discuss the issues they are facing. The translators would soon let us know of newly arrived families, as would the job centre, schools, social services etc.


The project was even more successful than we had initially anticipated. We were able to successfully assist the girls in gaining the confidence which we then worked on building. We noticed this whilst in a group discussion, where the opposite gender were present, the girls were no longer hesitant to voice their own opinions. This was in contrast to what we had initially noted when these young girls had joined the group. They were also then capable of expressing a wider range of emotions in a calm and controlled manner whilst discussion their personal challenges, and assist one another regardless of their relationship. Another advantage of these sessions was that now the girls all have a much stronger relationship with one another.

Challenges encountered

One of the challenges which we faced was finding an English and Kurdish speaking volunteer. This was essential as the young girls involved are much more comfortable with communicating more effectively in English.


Another challenge was finding a professional basketball coach who could assist the group of girls in the sessions. This is currently still an outstanding challenge as this position is voluntary and unpaid. Nevertheless we continue our efforts to find the right coach because our girls are very enthusiastic in continuing to play and learn.


Over time we have been able to partially resolve these issues by once again motivating the older girls in the group to be there and help us lead the sessions each week.


We have learned that the target group (young girls) were more vulnerable than we initially thought, as at the beginning of the sessions they weren’t voicing their opinions or they were afraid to. We noticed that the girls weren’t expressing themselves, it was mainly a few that would be confident enough to speak.

We also learned that the girls were heavily influenced by their families and their attitudes were impacted by how much support they were getting.

In the future we would do more one on one sessions with the girls so they feel more comfortable talking about the issues that affect them as they might have been too worried in some areas to voice it to the group.

We have learned as an organisation that our young girls are so smart and will proceed with life with a better mindset, at least not to be impacted by the pressures of society. Our organisation has learned that empowering our most vulnerable members makes them more involved.

We would suggest to other organisations not to be afraid to bring up taboo topics within their group as it’s the only way the girls can get reliable information. Sometimes if the target group tries to get answers from the internet it may do more harm than good.