In addition to the regular activities and support we give our women and their families, Al-Hasaniya also holds regular events to promote our work, our cultural heritage and to empower our women and ensure their voices are heard.
In 2012, we were invited by Khalid Mahmoud MP to host the House of Commons Eid-el- Fitr. It attracted 9 ministers to deliver a speech about our work and women in the Arab world. Over 40 ambassadors attended, 55 MPs, Peers and other dignitaries bringing the number of attendees to over 220.
In 2015, we participated in an event organized by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation. The aim of the event was to publicize local charities and support them to raise funds.
It took place in Holland Park, where we set up a stall with face painting, henna and distributing leaflets about our organization. It also gave us the opportunity to speak to members of the public, raise awareness about the work we do and about mental health.
Former Mayor Boris Johnson visited Al Hasaniya to meet some of the service users and staff. During his visit, he listened to comments and concerns from clients and answered their questions.
London Mayor Boris Johnson visiting Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Project
Boris Johnson visits women’s Centre in Notting Hill
In 2015, we collaborated with Nour Festival to bring together women of different generations from the Arabic speaking community. The aim was for different generations to come together in a fun and creative way to learn about cooking and the history behind it. The participant’s ethnicities ranged from all over the Arab world, including Morocco, Egypt, Syria and Yemen.
It was facilitated by a professional chef and a storyteller who supported the women to cook whilst experiencing creative story telling. The women who participated were fed back that their confidence increased as they were brought together, learnt new skills, shared their thoughts, ideas, recipes and memories.
Some articles about the event are as follows:
Go Golborne is a local campaign led by the Council that’s all about supporting children and families to eat well, keep active and feel good. Al Hasaniya is proud to participate in educating children and their families on healthy eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
As part of the Nour Festival 2016, contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture, enjoy an evening with rising star Fatima-Zohra El Qortobi.
In todays troubled world and the focus on mainly the Muslima and Arab community, we feel it is vital to share our cultural heritage and educate people about our history, music and share our heritage for a better, well integrated and cohesive society.
Showcasing the multi-cultural heritage of Morocco, this evening of classical Arabic-Andalusian music, Jewish and Berber music is a UK premiere in partnership with le conseil de communauté Marocaine à l’étranger (CCME) and Al-Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Project Ltd.
Eid is a celebration at the end of the holy month of Ramadan and we were honoured to have been invited by London's Mayor to participate in the annual celebration of Eid in the Square, where we celebrated with people from all walks of life and introduced them to Moroccan culture through traditional music and clothes.
We were honoured by Councillor Robert Freeman's visit to Al Hasaniya Centre, where he met some of our service users. Councillor Freeman discussed with the women some of their concerns about the local area and how to tackle them.
In February 2017, we welcomed a French Student Group visiting us from Argenteuille, France. The group were from an organisation called TMF (Travailleurs Maghrebin de France) which stands for The Maghreb Workers of France and they have 15 branches around France.
The group consisted of 8 young students aged between 13-15 years old and 3 staff members.
During the visit, Al Hasaniya staff learnt more about the activities TMF offer as an organisation and that included activities for their youth, for the elderly and their trips.
Our staff also provided the visitors with a summary of the history of Al Hasaniya, the projects run and the work we do.
Al Hasaniya staff also allowed an open space for conversation and discussion with the visitors and they expressed their surprise at how multicultural and diverse London was. In particular, the students were surprised at seeing women wearing headscarves and policemen with beards. They compared it to France and particularly to Paris and felt that this was a rarity. The issue of multi-culturism and respect were discussed as well as London’s diversity.
For the last five years we have been receiving students from Denmark, in a bid to provide a platform where students can openly ask questions about our cultural heritage, Islam and living in Britain.
Feedback from this year’s group was that they found the experience an informative one and it gave them the opportunity to understand how multiculturalism in Britain works.
This years’ group was made up of two teachers and 35 students.
Souad Talsi MBE gave an introductory speech about how Al Hasaniya was founded and the work that is carried out and provided to members of the community. This was followed by staff member Zohra Davis discussing her personal experiences of growing up in the area.
Lunch was provided for the visitors and this was an opportunity for them to meet various staff members and ask them questions or discuss topics on a one to one basis. They also received publicity packs from Al Hasaniya as a reminder of their trip to the centre. The feedback received from the visitors was that they found the experience an informative one and it gave them the opportunity to explore and discuss topics they hadn’t done before.
The trip to the Sky Gardens was planned by the OPO Project Leader after considering the clients wishes and desires to go travel and explore a different side to London. None of the women had been to the Sky Gardens before and agreed that it would be a therapeutic trip as it contains greenery and also reminds them of the beauty of London as they were able to see the landmarks.
The trip was aimed at vulnerable clients that are isolated and live alone. It was also an opportunity for them to get together and travel across the city and spend time together in a new environment. The feedback received was that many of the clients felt happy and stress free for the day. Upon returning to the centre, the women were provided lunch curtesy of Al Hasaniya.
Al-Hasaniya developed a partnership with the Go-Golborne project funded by RBKC Public Health. The Go-Golborne Project is designed to promote healthy eating and well-being targeting the residents of North Kensington.
Although the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is one of the richest boroughs in London if not the country, it also has one of the most deprived areas. Golborne ward where the centre is located has a multitude of social issues including poverty and unemployment. Many children from the BME community who live in North Kensington are disadvantaged and have been identified as being overweight due to many living under the poverty line. A healthy diet is often considered beyond the ability of the parents’ limited budget and so the children’s daily diet seems to be very high in sugar and other non-healthy ingredients. Our aim here was to change that mind set and teach both children and parents that low budget does not mean unhealthy diet.
The Sugar Smart March was a one day event which started by the children and families preparing healthy snack bags, and then getting ready for the march. The idea was to actively involve children to deliver the message that too much sugar is bad for you to their community.
32 children and 11 adults were registered and marched around the Golborne area targeting parks and the local community, distributing leaflets and healthy snack bags and making sure we got the Sugar Smart message across to as many people as possible.
Sugar Smart certificates were given out at the end of the day to maximise the message to the children.
Question and Answer Session with Former Kensington MP, Victoria Borwick – May 2017
On 19th May 2017, Al Hasaniya welcomed Former Kensington MP Victoria Borwick to the Older People’s Luncheon Club. She was invited to meet the ladies, hear their stories and concerns and answer their questions. Victoria was able to discuss areas such as housing, health and crime and agreed with the women that another longer surgery would be arranged if she were successfully elected.
Al Hasaniya was joined by students from Oxford Gardens, Bevington and Thomas Jones in remembering the victims of Grenfell Tower
On 17th November 2017 Drop in Session with Kensington and Chelsea Councillor Elizabeth Campbell, Elizabeth Campbell who carried out a Drop In Surgery. She met women who were affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and answered their questions
We joined hands again with Go-Golborne in raising awareness of healthy eating amongst children and families. We ran an hour workshop on Snacks that families can make at home or buy that are under 100 calories.
We hired a cook that made the children jacket potatoes with beans and cheese for lunch and served them fruit. We had a colouring fruits competition and a Al Hasaniya’s Got Talent Competition.
We hoped that everyone who attended understood that snacks play a big role in our daily diets and can add unnecessary weight gain without realising it.
Some feedback from the children who participated:
“We had a fun day mummy; we have to stay healthy so we can come back to Al-Hasaniya for the next fun day”
“100 calorie snacks will keep us not getting fat”
“Al-Hasaniya is helping us stay healthy”