“We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity
that nourishes and strengthens this community – and this nation.”
The Journey of Heritage and Inclusion Project
The Action for Children Heritage and Inclusion project is continually helping to reduce levels of isolation felt by young ethnic women in Edinburgh.
The charity’s ‘Heritage Project’ sees young women from BME (Black, Minority, Ethnicity) backgrounds spend time researching and developing heritage learning using oral histories, archives and art collections, allowing them to become much more aware of their own heritage and increase their participation within their own communities.
The duration of the project is two years and over this course of the project, the charity is working with more than fifty young women in four secondary schools in the capital. Since being launched in the summer of 2015, it has been described as having made a “huge difference to my life” by a young woman the service is working with gaining Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
A lasting legacy is subsequently being created through the sharing of learnings with class mates, peers, benefactors’ and the wider community through a series of public events and exhibitions as well as documentary films.
The project takes place at 4 Edinburgh secondary schools:
- The Royal High School
- Broughton High School
- Drummond Community High School
- Portobello High School
Khaleda Noon is Service Co-ordinator for the Project working with partnerships including Napier University, The Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh University and Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
The project creates an opportunity to engage with BME young women from diverse communities in Edinburgh, promoting social inclusion, learning of different cultures and historical events, and raising awareness to the issues that many BME young women encounter on a regular basis.
The research conducted by Action for Children states that many young women from Sikh and Muslim families have limited opportunities to take part in any extra curriculum activities and further education due to cultural barriers with regards to isolation, FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), racial discrimination, radicalisation and social inclusion.
The project offers a trusting support network that will be a safe place to discuss challenges where staff can support and signpost when necessary. The groups meet weekly at school and work to a programme that focuses on heritage and inclusion.
- Accreditation to up to 50 hard to reach BME young women
- Supports positive destination
- Delivers cultural awareness through art and film
- Build self-esteem and confidence
- Promotes positive identity aspects
- Delivers awareness of services available to young women focusing on young women’s rights
- 1-1 support sessions working with vulnerable BME young women
- Supports refugee and Asylum seekers
The staff at Action for Children have specialist knowledge on working within sensitive issues within culture and religion working in a sensitive manner throughout project.
Potential Case Studies
There are several case studies available on request.
Social Benefits as a result of the work of the service
The social benefits are that the project works with young women who are at risk of no positive destination, isolation and mental health issues.