Musawa is a health and wellbeing pilot project for refugees run in partnership with Freedom from Torture, and funded by the Scottish Government

Partners: Freedom from Torture

Quick fact: Studies have identified a worsening of mental health problems among refugees since arrival in the UK [i]

The Musawa project is designed to work with Syrian refugees across Scotland to ensure they have a voice and can influence decision making within health forums at local and national levels. This is an innovative opportunity for refugees to build their skills, influence policy and services and meet like-minded individuals to ensure a strong refugee voice in Scotland.

Methods include:

  • Training staff on trauma informed approaches and how to run psycho-educational sessions with refugee families
  • Capacity building with refugees via community mapping; exploring refugee related issues through designing a poster as a resource for public bodies such as council authorities; using the KETSO tool to ensure refugees are engaging with and understanding their new surroundings

The project will also involve refugees in engagement sessions run by the Scottish Government as part of the New Scots refugee strategy 2017-2010.

Mohamed Omar, Policy and Development Officer (Refugees)

Refugees don’t have a voice where it matters most – in public decision making. What we are trying to do through the Musawa project is give refugees the opportunity to understand Scottish health policy and how it affects them in the context of their new home. We hope to find out where the opportunities are for refugees who want to take a bigger role in Scotland’s decision making, and what barriers remain. We hope to address these gaps by providing training for refugees to teach them about the Scottish system and also train local authorities to help them understand the real issues faced by refugees in Scotland.”

For more information, please contact:

Mohamed Omar (Policy and Development Officer – Refugees)

[email protected]

[i] Roshan N. (2005) Supporting New Communities: A qualitative study of health needs among asylum seekers and refugee communities in North Glasgow, NHS Greater Glasgow