Fife migrants taking International Women’s Day as inspiration

A new group - the International Women's Forum -  host their launch event this Friday.
A new group - the International Women's Forum - host their launch event this Friday.

A new organisation, aiming to give female migrants and those recently settled in Fife a voice, as well as offering vital support and advice, is to have its official launch this week.

Entitled International Women’s Forum, the new group set up by Katarzyna Slawek and fellow volunteers at Kirkcaldy based charity Fife Migrants Forum, will use Friday’s International Women’s Day celebration as a platform to welcome new members.

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Katarzyna said the aim was to offer a wide range of support and advice specifically tailored towards females in the region, many of whom are living alone.

“Even though I’ve lived in Fife for the last 15 years I remember how daunting and difficult it is in a new country, faced with all the cultural, and legal differences .

“People come here for all sorts of reasons, some for work while others are fleeing war or persecution.

“Women, particularly, can quickly become isolated and we want to have an organisation that is there to support them at every turn.

“They may only need help in how to apply for a job or how to pay the rent, while for others it will be education about health matters or how to stay safe.

“Whatever it is we want to be there to help them.”

And Katarzyne said the most positive support of all will come from building friendships, which is one of the main aims of the new group.”

As well as offering a female support network, Katarzyne said the group wants to empower migrant women to become more confident and secure .

She said: “We believe that women’s voices, and aspirations in many walks of life are not listened to and we have spoken many times of establishing a forum in which we can make our voices heard.”

Having originally migrated to Scotland in search of work opportunities, Polish born Katarzyne, a university graduate and qualified customs officer, is now married and settled in Fife with a young family.

“For me it was about wanting to put something back.

“There is nothing more important than friendship and not feeling that you are on your own.

“That’s what this group is all about.”

Women of all nationalities from across the Kingdom are invited to attend a day of free events being held at the Fife Migrants Forum office, Postings Shopping Centre in Kirkcaldy on Friday, March 8. The event runs from 11am until 3pm.

Other events taking place in ffie to celebrate International Women’s day include:

Women of Fife: A day of talks, exhibitions and workshops and taster sessions all to celebrate women of fife. All events are free and take place at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes. for more information go to www.onfife.com/WomenOfFife.

International Women’s Day - Kirkcaldy: A free day of events taking place at the KUSI Club, St Brycedale Avenue, Kirkcaldy from 10am - 4pm. A range of guest speakers including author Chantal Mrimi.