The Kent Muslim Welfare Association Sisters Group (KMWA Sisters Group) is a community organisation based in Medway Kent, England, that focuses on providing support and services to the local Muslim community, with a particular emphasis on women. The group is committed to fostering a sense of sisterhood and empowerment among Muslim women, while also promoting community engagement and social welfare. This report aims to highlight the various activities and initiatives undertaken by KMWA Sisters Group in their efforts to make a positive impact on the local community and proposals for the coming year.
Wednesday Sisters Circle:
The year 2022-2023 has been a significant one for the Sisters Circle. After being forced to move to an online format during the Covid pandemic, the circle resumed in the Masjid in May 2022. The online presence generated an audience that was unable to attend in person, leading to the circle being conducted both on-site and online.
The Sisters Circle which runs every Wednesday, during term time, provides a lifeline of community connection for the sisters, with regular attendance between 15-20 sisters. It aims to empower women with knowledge through spiritual development and guidance from the Quran and Sunnah.
Quran Recitation and Tajweed Class on Thursday:
In June 2022, a Quran recitation and tajweed class for sisters was introduced in the Masjid every Thursday morning during term time. While this was already running virtually, its presence in the Masjid is to open the opportunity to learn to the wider community and encourage an attachment to the Masjid for sisters. The class has been well-received, with regular attendance of approximately 10-12 sisters.
Moving forward, the Kent Muslim Welfare Association Sisters Group aims to continue providing opportunities for sisters to connect and engage in activities that promote their spiritual, intellectual, and emotional development. We plan to expand our services to include more classes and events that cater to the diverse and growing Muslim community in Kent and Medway and to facilitate their needs and interests.
KMWA Sisters Group has organised community-building activities to foster positive relationships and create a sense of belonging among community members. 2 social events were organised in the masjid conservatory during the previous year, one in May 2022 after Eid ul Fitr and one in January 2023. The event brought together members of the community to celebrate and socialise.
A sisters picnic was also arranged in August 2022 in Capstone Park. This allowed sisters and children to come together in an outdoor space and meet other community members.As a result of its success, the group is interested in organising more events in the coming year. By bringing people together, they hope to promote friendship, unity, and goodwill in the community.
We have several proposed facilities that require the approval of the mosque management. We are hopeful that these facilities will be approved in the upcoming year.
Mental Health Awareness Sessions:
One of our primary focuses has been to provide mental health awareness sessions to our community. Mental health issues continue to be stigmatised in our society, and our aim is to break down these barriers and provide support to those in need. We are currently in the process of developing a mental health awareness programme and plan to launch it in the upcoming year.
Youth Hub for Young Muslim Girls:
We recognise that young Muslim girls require a safe and nurturing environment to learn, grow, and thrive. To meet this need, we plan to develop a youth hub for young Muslim girls. The hub will provide a space for girls to participate in various activities such as sports, arts and crafts, and mentoring programs.
Toddlers and Children Storytime:
We recognise the importance of early childhood Islamic education and would like to offer toddlers and children storytime sessions. These sessions would provide a safe and nurturing space for young children to learn and develop about the stories in the Quran. The aim of the sessions would be for young Muslims to learn about Islam, promoting a love for learning and reading, and fostering a sense of community and belonging among Muslim families.
Mechanisms to Support Revert Sisters:
We understand that revert sisters often face significant challenges when adjusting to their new way of life. To help address this issue, we are developing a program to support revert sisters. The program will provide mentorship, and other resources to help revert sisters integrate into the Muslim community.
Weekend and Evening Sessions for Working Muslim Sisters:
We recognise that many Muslim women are unable to attend our sessions and programs due to work commitments. To help accommodate these women, we hope to offer weekend and evening sessions for working Muslim sisters. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, including Islamic studies, health and wellness, and personal development. We plan to offer these sessions in the upcoming year through setting up a KMWA Sisters Hub.
Urgently need funding for baby changing facilities and shoe rack in the conservatory:
Finally, we would like to highlight two urgent needs that require funding: baby changing facilities and a shoe rack. Our Mosque is frequently used by mothers with young children, and we urgently need to install baby changing facilities to accommodate them. We have also identified a need for a shoe rack in the conservatory to help ensure the safety of our visitors. We are currently seeking funding to address these urgent needs.
The Kent Muslim Welfare Association Sisters Group remains committed to empowering Muslim women with knowledge through spiritual development and guidance from the Quran and Sunnah. We look forward to continuing our efforts in the upcoming year and providing opportunities for the sisters to connect and grow together.
We would like to express our gratitude to the sisters who have supported us throughout the year and contributed to the success of our initiatives. We would also like to thank the Kent Muslim Welfare Association for their support and guidance in helping us achieve our goals and look forward to their continued support on the proposed facilities made in this report.