A Program by Center for Empowering Refugees and
Immigrants (CERI) and ARTogether as part of the Afghan
Community Support Program
Afghan Women Arts and Support Group (AWASG) is designed to bring newcomer Afghan women together to build community, provide mental wellness support, and create art together. The group will meet on the first Sunday of each month in Oakland.
AWASG is designed to provide a safe and welcoming space for women from the Bay Area’s growing Afghan refugee community. We believe this Program is essential to meeting the needs of the newly arrived Afghan women in our community – many of whom face the daily challenges of isolation, language barriers and limited mobility.
Designed by women for women, AWASG hopes to help newcomer Afghan women connect with other women and build meaningful relationships and friendships. For 2½ hours each month, women can gather in a safe space together, exploring different traditional Afghan crafts alongside other art forms such as textile-based crafts, photography, cosmetology, & poetry.
This group will create art in a collaborative setting, guided by Afghan & MENASA artists, where participants will be able to explore their own stories, backgrounds, obstacles, treasured memories, & other themes that will enable self-expression and provide an outlet to tell their stories. To improve accessibility and combat barriers faced by many Afghan women, free transportation and childcare will be provided, requests for forms and paperwork will be limited, and in-language support will guide each gathering. There are two Afghan case managers who will help with wrap around services to participants. Through this Project, we hope to provide a supportive community where the women will feel seen, heard, and valued.