We are delighted to announce that OKA has been awarded £10K in National Lottery funding to support its work in building stronger relationships in and across communities in Oxford. Focusing on helping refugees and promoting Kurdish culture, the our programme aims to provide support with integration, education and recognition for local community.
Earlier this year, we started Kurdish language classes as a practical way of preserving Kurdish identity and culture. Many Kurds have not been able to learn reading and writing in their mother tongue due to military conflicts, displacement and discrimination.Thanks to the grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, we can commit to running Kurdish language classes for 2019/2020 academic year.
At the same time, we will be able to create more opportunities for sporting activities for young people, namely by supporting a local community football team. In the next 12 months we also plan to organise several recreational and cultural events, such as a film night, an art exhibition and celebration of Kurdish New Year, Newroz.
Roushin Bagdash, a trustee, says: “We are very grateful to the National Lottery players for this grant which is going to help our community tremendously. The funds will go towards preserving and promoting our Kurdish language and keep young people occupied with activities which will contribute to their physical and mental wellbeing”.
Dr Sait Keskin, the Kurdish class tutor, adds: “Kurdish language is one of the oldest world languages and needs to be saved from extermination and assimilation. It is very important for us to be supported by the community in educating young Kurdish people and anyone in Oxford who is interested in Kurdish culture”.