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The Manchester charity transforming the lives of asylum seekers with compassion and empowerment

Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST), a self-led support group for women navigating the asylum system in Greater Manchester, hosted an inspiring event at  Manchester Central Library as part of the ongoing Refugee Week 2023.

Women Asylum Seekers Together

Embracing this year’s theme of compassion, the gathering united women from diverse cultures to offer support to those seeking asylum while fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment.

Greece refugee crisis

The event commenced with a solemn moment of reflection to honour the refugees who tragically lost their lives, including those affected by the recent calamity in Greece.

In a poignant display of solidarity, all attendees observed a minute of silence, paying tribute to those who have embarked on treacherous journeys in search of safety.

Members of WAST took the opportunity to shed light on their organisation’s objectives and values, emphasising respect, empowerment, inclusion, and compassion as the cornerstones of their work.

The event then transitioned into a tapestry of artistic expressions, featuring poetry, storytelling, singing, and dancing.

The poems, stories, and songs shared resonated with experiences of longing for home, remembering loved ones, and offering solace and encouragement.

Throughout the evening, courageous women shared their personal stories and the transformative impact WAST had on their lives.

Asylum seekers in Greater Manchester

Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) is a self-led support group for women going through the asylum system in Greater Manchester.

Formed in 2005, WAST has over 170 members, including women from all over the world. Every woman seeking asylum in Greater Manchester is welcome. WAST prides itself on being a safe space where women can be themselves and have a voice of their own.

The organisation has helped women in several ways, from helping them find places to sleep to helping them learn English & empowering and encouraging ladies during their struggles with seeking asylum.

Women Asylum Seekers Together’s core values

WAST is based on value. Its core values are:

  • * Respect
  • * Empowerment
  • * Inclusion
  • * Compassion

Together, they have successfully nurtured a community where women can find solace, be heard, and regain their self-confidence amidst the hardships of seeking asylum.

Serving as a surrogate family for many who have left loved ones behind, WAST has become a haven, fostering hope, comfort, and empowerment.

Mariam Yusuf, a devoted member of WAST for the past 15 years, spoke passionately about the organization’s profound influence:

“Women come to WAST to regain their self-confidence after enduring traumatic experiences. WAST provides a healing space where they can tap into their potential, whether through singing or sewing. Each woman possesses unique skills, and during Refugee Week, they can relish in what they do best.”

Yusuf continued, “WAST is both a sanctuary and a place of joy. Despite the challenges posed by the hostile environment, we thrive within our own community, our family: WAST.”

A spirit of love and unity

The atmosphere at the event exuded an infectious spirit of love and unity.

Attendees hailed from diverse backgrounds and faiths, converging to celebrate the collective resilience and strength of women seeking asylum.

Witnessing the palpable energy and genuine camaraderie among the attendees proved both heart-touching and inspiring.

One event participant remarked, “The event was a beautiful testament to the power of empowerment and love.

“Women found solace and a sense of family within this organisation, transcending cultural and religious boundaries.

“It was a privilege to be part of such a transformative gathering.”

Women seeking asylum in Greater Manchester

As WAST continues its commitment to providing a safe and supportive environment, women seeking asylum in Greater Manchester can find solace, encouragement, and the opportunity to shape their own destinies.

Their unwavering resolve and celebration of compassion during Refugee Week 2023 serve as a reminder that irrespective of origin or circumstance, every woman deserves a safe place to call home.

For more information about Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) and their initiatives, please visit their website by clicking here. 

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