As you are aware Oxford Kurdish Association (OKA) is now 3 years old. We were set up in 2016 by Mustafa Barcho, Essam Awny, John Elo, Sherko Zen-Aloush, Chrissie Charvill and Kevin Ryall to help displaced people in Oxford. We are an official Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), governed by UK law, and overseen by the Charity Commission (CC).
Over the years many friends - some trustees and some supporters - have helped us benefit the community in Oxford, including Roushin Bagdash, Rojeen Qaqu, Vic Baker, Mostafa Hamo, Hivar Zen-Aloush, Evin Abrishami, Olga Batty and many others.
Our aim - as ratified by the CC - has always been to help all those granted refugee status, those seeking asylum and those settled in the UK who are lacking in English cultural knowledge to adapt to life in the UK and to provide social and leisure facilities for the refugee community among other things.
Everyone involved with OKA is a volunteer and nobody gets paid for any of their work for OKA. Since the charity’s foundation, our work has been funded by donations from individuals, a grant from Aviva Community Fund in 2017 and a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2019, both applied for by our volunteers. All these donations are used for the charity's work. We have never received any financial support from the local government or other public funds. We have also been reliant on the support and goodwill of the East Oxford Community Association whose members provide us with meeting space, community work advice and IT facilities since 2017.
Recently we have increased the number of trustees from 3 to 7 to make the governing body more democratic. All the new trustees have been involved with OKA from the very beginning or have made significant contributions. The role of a trustee is purely to oversee the running of OKA to make sure that the charity keeps faith with its stated objectives. Soon we hope to invite more trustees to join to make the charity even more democratic and diverse. As a small charity, we are keen to bring more volunteers on to the board of trustees, and we remain committed to an organisation that is balanced in terms of gender, ethnicity and age. Please let us know if you would like to be considered for the role of trustee. It is a three-year commitment.
Our plan for the next few years is to become sustainable as a charity by securing regular donations and to broaden our work in the community. We also hope to add an official aim of raising awareness of Kurdish culture, history, and identity within the UK population. We will be looking into how we can add this aim while staying within the non-discriminatory guidelines prescribed by UK law.
Thank you for your support for the last 3 years and we hope that you will continue to support us in the future
Oxford Kurdish Association
Arabic/English Version is available below: