WODIN Anniversary Round-up Press Release

WODIN in a Year – Celebrating Anniversary plus Challenges and Lessons

Women and Digital Inclusion – WODIN Anniversary Celebration – a Year in 10 Mins 

Women and digital Inclusion have had a fantastic year all things considered as we come to our first official anniversary since we registered as a CIC from a simple ad-hoc group. 

It’s very interesting how our lives give back to us what we project. Because this year which rounds up on the 16th December is a total reflection of our commitment to being guided by a higher power. And serving with soul. 

Our very first official commissioning was a project on Supporting Women into Business – SWIB a SAWN Project.

Where WODIN’s role was as a facilitator — Coaching participants all Black Immigrant women on Digital Branding, Affiliate marketing for sustainability, and Social media Foundations. This project run from January to April 2021 and all of the participating 17 women successfully started their enterprises.

From this successful project, WODIN was commissioned twice by WRC to run similar workshops in Summer. And later in Sept-Nov to carry out 1-1 sessions with up to 11 Black Women Business Owners on Branding and Social Media Selling. We cannot thank WRC enough for the trust, and we are open to collaborating more in the years to come.

 

On a parallel level, in February 2021 WODIN launched a covid-response program Liverpool Women Resilience project, when our proposal was approved and funding granted by the TNL Community fund to run this project for 3 months. We effectively rolled out the first-ever Cultural Ethnic Food Parcels program in Liverpool which run until August 2021.

While the funding did run out, the need still exists even more. Because lots of mothers and fathers lost their jobs or were placed on Zero hours following the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns. 

 

That said, words cannot express our gratitude effectively on behalf of the BME community. So, we say a simple and heartfelt; Thank you to all the National Lotto players, who keep organisations like ours afloat with much-needed funding to keep serving our communities. 

Women and Digital Inclusion

 

WODIN loves that we were invited to be part of the SAWNETTAS leading to COP26, which we’ll talk about in a bit. 💗

We are indebted to Mrs. Rose Ssali our Mentor, the CEO of Support and Action Womens’ Network – SAWN, who has guided us untiringly. Always open to answering questions, advising, encouraging, and signposting WODIN, a blessing in reality. 

Above all trusting and commissioning WODIN to carry out various projects including the Digitization of the SAWN Furniture Hub. In addition to various projects, we have collaborated on over the past 11 months. We cannot thank you enough. 🙏

 

Then…

Summer went like a whirlwind as we organized Covid-19 info sessions focusing on

“To vaccinate or No Vaxx and Why”.

We also held 3 full Zoom sessions enabled and resourced by the National Survivor’s Network Side by Side grant. These sessions were focused on the conversation on Recovery from Lockdown, the BME Story! 

 

Autumn – a Whirlwind of learning, Networking, Serving 

WODIN was privileged to be granted core funding from WRC in conjunction with COMIC Relief and NET. This funding has enabled our leadership to network, link in with local leaders and other organizations, to look for more projects funding and capacity building for sustainability. In addition to continuing the grassroots welfare checks and support work of bridging the digital gap.

This WRC funding also enabled WODIN the time to create digital products/services as part of our value offer and bid for capacity building to sustainability. Our services are aimed at but not exclusive to Black-Led Voluntary organizations.

These products/services can be found on our Services page. We encourage voluntary organizations, charities, social enterprises to partake of these services. You could write project proposals with this kind of capacity-building and leadership training included.

Because WODIN is happy and ready to serve. 

 

We have noticed that clearly, our services are in high demand. The challenge lays in the resources being still slow in trickling down to our communities. WODIN receives lots of referrals like below;

Hi

We have a Domestic Violence advisor who is supporting 2 women who are both asylum seekers and Domestic Violence victims. They are in the middle of their university studies and need Wifi access to carry on with their studies, they both have children and therefore cannot get online at the library etc, due to childcare commitments. Do you have any advice or grants on helping them get online at home? They currently live in Home Office accommodation and don’t have a recourse to public funds.

So, digital poverty is a major challenge for BME communities; Asylum seekers and immigrants in Liverpool and who have got their leave to remain just out of the asylum process.

We at WODIN are open to working with/collaborating with organizations/people willing to support our community members with such challenges.

This is exactly why we are here to do and we welcome donations to serve our communities more effectively. 

 

We are doing our best to find resources and ways to serve. Thus the whirlwind of networking with a number of organizations over the last 11 months. Including but not limited to:

Liverpool City Council, Liverpool LCVS, InVision, National Survivors Network, Women Resource Centre – WRC, SAWN, Liverpool Common Wealth Association, Uganda Community Association Liverpool, CPH Mind Body and Soul, Hope For All, Women of Grace and Honour, Do It Now Now, Rosa, Equally Ours, and so many more. 

All this whirlwind of networking has helped expand our network and learning, which ultimately supports our capacity building.

Our Chief Executive and Projects Lead Mrs. Sylvia Kalungi has also been busy networking and capacity building in the last few months. She was interviewed live with NSUN News by Ruairi White in October along with other grassroots organization leaders. 
 
Sylvia narrated the challenges faced by small grassroots organizations, what type of funding application Women and Digital Inclusion – WODIN finds attractive. And further, what are the red herrings they look for in funding bids.

Both interviews can be found below:

This was followed by an invitation to be part of a focus group by Do It Now Now to discuss 3 key outcome areas:

1. Education, Employment and Training
2. Racial Justice and Equality
3. Financial Inclusion

Wodin was part of the Financial Inclusion Focus Group.

Which reports we hope will impact how Black-led organizations are served esp. when it comes to funding. All this we hope will help WODIN leadership to be better informed, to show up better, and serve our communities for longer.

And at the start of November WODIN had the pleasure of our CEO again, being interviewed on Radio 1 by Prossy N on; The journey of a Social Entrepreneur. Details of the interview will be shared in time. 

 

During the Autumn WODIN was also privileged to receive funding from Local Connections that enabled us to purchase a project laptop and focused Helpline – 07879 053346. You can contact us Mon – Fri 8 am – 6 pm.

These developments have been game-changers in our digital inclusion work. By making us more efficient, we accessed better and faster apps digitally. And now our volunteers have a number they can signpost beneficiaries to, as opposed to sharing personal numbers.  

 

 

WODIN at COP26

WODIN was invited to participate in the WEN/SAWN lead Climate Sisters projects leading to COP26 in Glasgow. These networking and learning sessions run for 4 months prior to COP26, and we will be debriefing soonest. 

Our role was to create a digital space aka web page for all the projects created by the SAWNETTAs so that they could be found in one place. The Women Environmental NetworkWEN acknowledged this contribution as a great piece of art on Twitter. 

As a result of this participation, WODIN also took a deeper look at our digital footprint, leading to this article. And we are working to keep that footprint down as part of our contribution to the commitment to Under 1.5 GGE reduction. 

 

In addition to the above and much more, we resumed our live weekly Sessions on Digital Leverage for the BME community.

Women and Digital Inclusion

 

Our staff and volunteers have been networking hard, we connected with the Liverpool Head of Mayoral Programme Delivery, and WODIN was officially placed on the community providers lists.

 

More good things have happened in these 11 months. WODIN was approved and is officially a member of BASNET – Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Race Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan.

This is huge, and we hope to impact even better our communities as advocates against Modern-day slavery. 

WODIN - a Member of BASNET

 

And last but most definitely not least, please welcome the new WODIN Non-executive Directors. This has expanded our leadership team to 8. Our 2 new Non-Executive Directors were appointed on  4th November — Mrs. Sarah Nabudde and Ms. Justine Kigozi Nakimuli. You can learn more about them on our team page. This development is awesome for WODIN and the BME community at large. 

 

We look forward to an even more exciting next 12 months, filled with far-reaching impactful, fully funded projects and greater connections. Because we are here to Bridge the Gap be it Digital or whatever needs to be done to close the BME gap. 

 

Note to Editors

About WODINwww.wodin.org.uk/about
Women and Digital Inclusion – WODIN article on “Hamster Wheel Challenge”; NSUN – www.nsun.org.uk/the-hamster-wheel-challenge-funding-sustainability-for-grassroots-groups 
• WODIN Covid-19 Champions One of the Live Sessions – https://fb.watch/9t8wKRTg6Q/

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