Over two decades, AkiDwA has gained recognition as a leading NGO for highlighting the issues faced by migrant women in Ireland.
AkiDwA has developed the capacity of hundreds of migrant women and communities living in Ireland through our network, resource centre, outreach and training programmes.
All of our projects aim to promote migrants participation in their local communities; in civic and political structures, government consultations and decision-making processes.
AkiDwA consults with migrant women and other key stakeholders, identifies discriminatory practices and develops evidence-based and representative solutions that address key issues like gender-based violence, and discrimination.
AkiDwA Head of Operations & Strategy Salome Mbugua
AkiDwA emerged as an organisation between 1999 and 2001, after a series of regular meetings between migrant women were initiated by Salome Mbugua, who came to Ireland from Kenya in 1994.
The very first meeting was in 1999 in Dublin’s Temple Bar.
By 2001, with the support of the Catherine McAuley Centre, Salome had mobilised a group of African women who met regularly to share their experiences of living in Ireland.
In 2002 AkiDwA obtained funding from the then Combat Poverty Agency to carry out a pilot needs assessment of African women living in Ireland. The survey elicited responses from over two hundred females from seventeen counties. What emerged from these meetings were feelings of exclusion, isolation, racial abuse and discrimination and issues related to gender-based violence. The group went on to meet regularly with an external facilitator.
By 2003 some more formal structures were in place. AkiDwA was registered as a company with guarantee but without capital share. However, limited funding meant that most of our work continued to be carried out on a voluntary basis until 2005, when Salome received financial support from Social Entrepreneur Ireland to develop AkiDwA.
By 2007 AkiDwA had achieved tremendous support in terms of funding resources, the organisation also acquired charitable status during this period and developed their first strategic plan.
A strategic evaluation and review undertaken by the organisation in 2018 showed that AkiDwA remains a highly respected, credible and relevant organisation that is recognised for its unique expertise and longevity in the field. AkiDwA remains unique in Ireland as a migrant led, national women’s representative organisation.