Karibu’s annual general meeting (agm) was as busy and productive as any gathering of African women could be.
The organisation was set up almost ten years ago to bring together women in Scotland who came from Africa so that their combined energy and talents would help them integrate and make them stronger and self-sufficient.
The agm was held in the Pearce Institute in Govan.
Among the many items on the programme were the launch of a Karibu tartan; a fashion show of clothes made by the Karibu Sewing Project; notice of an upcoming launch for Karibu Scotland’s African Tartan and Textiles book as well as Scottish Government Equalities Section speaker Mukami McCrum. This being Black History Month, there were celebrations to mark it. And, of course, there was sumptious food, glorious food as only Women of Africa can prepare.
The charity is planning to re-open the cafe in the Pearce Institute in collaboration with Tea in the Pot, a local women’s support group which has been at the Pearce for several years.
Laurentine Zibi, Chair of Karibu (Welcome in Swahali) said afterwards she was ‘proud and pleased’ that the charity had overcome various challenges this past year.
‘To see between 100 and 150 people here today is emotional for me.’ The group has moved offices from Albion Street to Gorbals’ Adelphi Centre and now to the Pearce Institute in Govan.
‘We didn’t have enough funding to carry on in the Gorbals,’ said Laurentine. A full time worker post was reduced to part-time and then was lost in April when funding finished.
But with the support of Oxfam, the volunteer work of the Karibu Sewing Project gathered in strength. ‘We hope to move this into a social enterprise soon,’ added Laurentine. Their exclusive Karibu African tartan – devised with the expertise of tartan expert David McGill – can be purchased in Byres Road Oxfam shop.
Karibu founder, Henriette Koubakouenda, declared at the end of the day she felt ‘comforted’ that the organisation was making progress. ‘To see people taking over is good. Even if I die, Karibu will continue. The fact that the next generation shares the same vision as we who founded Karibu – is worth more than a million pounds to me. This annual general meeting has been a real joy for me.’
Henriette arrived in Glasgow with her two young sons as refugees from the Congo. Along with other women she soon discovered their needs and wishes didn’t fit in with the system. ‘About 15 or 20 women gathered in my flat in Sighthill on 31 August 2003 to work out how we could organise ourselves. We needed to keep our self-respect and were willing to work hard but our voices were not being heard by the service providers. It was difficult for us because each woman was isolated and very few had fluent English. I knew that, individually, we would not be heard but together we could be strong and be the voice for our problems.’ Among the issues they had personal experience of that didn’t fit the official categories were human trafficking and genital mutilation.
June 10, 2012 by Grace Franklin · Comments Off
International wrestling superstar Doug Williams was the main attraction at the Scottish Wrestling Alliance show at the Pearce Institute in Govan on Friday 1 June, defeating Irish-born but Govan-based wrestler Damo O’Connor in front of a vociferous and hostile crowd.
The English grappler now works for TNA Wrestling in the US but the show was something of a homecoming for the star whose career started in the UK, and who wrestled many times in Glasgow before his big break. He said: ‘It’s good to be back in the UK, and it’s always fun to wrestle in
Scotland because I can rile up the crowd and play the bad guy from England.’ He added: ‘I’ve fond memories of wrestling in Scotland and have worked with the SWA in its previous incarnation and always enjoy myself.’
In his illustrious career, Williams has wrestled all over the world and cites Germany and Japan as two of his personal favourite places to work. But he always has a special place in his heart for the independent shows in the UK where he made his name.
‘Smaller shows like the ones promoted by SWA are great because you can interact with the crowd directly and get people involved in the action. The fans in the UK are among the most passionate. They appreciate good wrestling and the technical side of the sport’
Other highlights of the show included Joe Coffey defeating Black Samurai Junior, Lewis Girvan and Mark Anthony to retaining the Laird of the Ring Championship, and Mikey Whiplash defeating Andy Anderson to win the NWA Scottish Championship.
Full results of the show and other information about SWA and its future events can be found at
Williams will be back next year as part of the TNA UK Tour, which comes to Glasgow in January 2013.
The Church and Society Roadshow
Saturday, 5th November
10am – 2pm
Pearce Institute, Govan
Everyone is welcome to pop in and find out how we can make a difference in our communities as followers of Jesus.
Workshops will cover a huge diversity of topics from Mental Health to Climate Change, Schools work to Sectarianism.
Take the Floor
Live from the Pearce Institute Govan
Saturday 29 January
BBC Radio Scotland
7.05 – 9pm
Join Take The Floor live with Robbie Shepherd from a packed Pearce Institute in Govan as part of Celtic Connections. Playing for dancing will be the lively sound of The Reel Thing Ceilidh Band plus the talents of special guest artists.
The community in Govan joined millions of people around the world on Wednesday 1 December to commemorate World Aids Day by raising awareness of a disease that afflicts 33.4 million lives worldwide.
At the Pearce Institute on Govan Road, members of the local community braved atrocious weather conditions to attend an event hosted by the Jubilee Social Centre. There they heard from Reverend Michael Angley Ogwuche of Govan’s Jubilee Social Centre, the international Christian charity, before watching a documentary investigating the Aids/HIV situation across Glasgow and the world.
Said Reverend Michael: ‘ It is important that on this most remarkable of health days we as a community do something. It is very important that people know that HIV and Aids is a problem that has not gone away.
‘There are 33.4 million lives affected by this disease across the world and over 6000 in Scotland. The problem is still covered in a shroud of stigma. As long as you live on planet earth then you need to be tested for Aids and HIV. We need to keep up the fight against the pandemic.’
The audience then watched a documentary, made by the Jubilee Social Centre, called HIV Reframed. It investigates Aids and HIV in the Glasgow community and tackles misconceptions and myths relating to the illness.
The film highlighted the difference between having HIV and being ‘Aids sick’ – the latter being the stage when symptoms are active in the sufferer.
John Flanagan, Councillor for Govan, also addressed the room, saying: ‘People should not discriminate through their misconceptions about HIV and Aids. Awareness should be promoted, it is a disease that continues to affect people across the word and within this city.’
Before finishing with refreshments for all, a minute’s silence was observed for all Aids/HIV sufferers around the globe, joining the million of others doing the same worldwide. The message of the event and documentary was this: Aids and HIV is associated with death, but to be educated is too know that long happy lives can still be enjoyed by people with this condition.
Part of the GRAND Events
Saturday 18 September
6:30pm – 10pm
Pearce Institute, Govan Road, Govan
café and conference suite
Food & Music – Comedian
Used Blues & Raintown
An alcohol-free evening with food, music and entertainment allowing families to enjoy a Saturday night in a safe, supportive environment.
This is the first of four such events in the Govan area.
Organisers – Sunny Govan Radio and partners – welcome suggestions for venues, food and entertainment for the following three events.
Historic changes were confirmed at the annual general meeting of the Pearce Institute (PI) in Govan on Wednesday 2 June.
Ownership of the building has been transferred from the 104 year old Trust to a limited company and registered charity.
Councillor John Flanagan, Chair of the Management Group, told the poorly attended meeting: ‘The PI has undergone a remarkable transformation both physically and legally. The Trustees made way for the new charitable company to become the legal owners from 1 January 2010. And £1.4m has been spent on the roof.’
Norie Mackie, Chief Executive of the PI added: ‘Ownership of the building was transferred from the Trustees to the new Board of Directors representing local people – among them Central Govan Community Council, Govan Housing Association, Govan and Linthouse Parish Church, tenants, hall user groups and individual members.’
He pointed out that more than 40 groups have been using the facilities of the PI to learn new skills, to exercise, to dance, to meet friends and receive support to quit smoking. ‘Thanks to grants from Awards for All, the Art of Living Club was started in May 2009 and has provided a wide range of activities for local people to enjoy.’
He said this year will continue to be challenging as the impact of the recession continues and commented: ‘We are confident that significant growth opportunities remain in our key target market of conference hire and associated catering. At the core of our confidence lies the vigorous drive of Glasgow City Council through the Central Govan Action Plan and Townscape Heritage Initiative.’ The meeting at which financial accounts were unanimously approved, was chaired by Rev Dr Moyna McGlynn.
Incredibly, the Govan Fair has been held for 254 years. And the next one is not to be missed. Just roll up to Govan on Friday 4 June, 2010 to join the start of a weekend of fun.
At the Victory Christian Centre in Langlands Road, the Govan Fair Queen will be crowned by Heather McMillan, the doughty fighter who has moved Sunny Govan Radio 103.5fm from a community station operating a few weeks in the year to a 24 hour, Glasgow-wide and beyond, formally registered, radio station.
The Queen and her entourage will then drive to Copland Road to lead the procession which wends its way round the area, passing the judges on the balcony at the Pearce Institute, and back to Langlands Road. There the Queen – on a platform – takes the final salute from all the procession acts.
Some of the dance groups dance all the way with amazing acrobatics keeping the crowds agog.
Saturday 5 June has been decreed a family fun day in Elder Park around Elderpark Library so things will be going on inside and outside to suit the weather (it will be a scorcher!) The nice thing is that the hard working Govan Fair Committee headed by Dot Courtney and Kenneth Kerr, have arranged for all the entertainments for children to be FREE!
On Sunday, the local churches will hold a ‘come ye all’ prayer and praise meeting in Elder Park but at the time of writing, the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW could not establish the time for that. On the same day the Fire Station in Govan Road will have an Open Day.
So don’t miss out – visit Govan on Govan Fair weekend this year to enjoy a treat.
Work has started on a £1.66m improvement programme for the Govan Cross area.
The Square and the forecourts at the Subway station and shopping centre will all benefit from the scheme, which is part of a broader £120m decade-long plan to regenerate the neighbourhood’s streets, buildings and green spaces.
Govan Cross will lose its giant planters and gain an open space with seating. The trees at Govan Subway station will be removed and seating installed.
The Square at Govan Cross will be transformed using natural stone paving, new lighting and street furniture, creating a space with a view of the Clyde and a venue for community events.
As part of the works at The Square, the Aitken Memorial Fountain will be fully restored and reinstalled and paving slabs will be engraved to reflect Govan’s long and fascinating history and promising future.
The three projects are being co-ordinated by the Central Govan Action Plan (CGAP) in consultation with the local people.
CGAP hopes a ‘friends of Govan Cross’ organisation will be established sometime in May. There will be an inaugural meeting at the Pearce Institute on May 12 at 6pm. Those wishing to attend are asked to call 440-2334 or e-mail email@example.com.
Deirdre Gaughan, chair of CGAP’s steering committee, said: ‘This is really welcome and long, long overdue.
‘We’re hoping it’s going to get us back to the sense of community spirit that we had years ago. It would be good to see these improvements extended right along Govan Road.
‘The people in Linthouse, especially Linthouse Housing Association, have made an excellent job of their area, as has Drumoyne.’
Nicola Sturgeon, MSP for Govan and Deputy First Minister, said: ‘Nearly 90 towns and places benefited from this government’s £60m town centre regeneration fund.
‘Govan Cross received £1.3m to help with a number of improvements including planting, lighting, street furniture and re-roofing the Pearce Institute. This will help preserve this historic building and generate investor confidence in Govan town centre bringing new business, opportunities and jobs to the area.
‘We are determined to turn around the fortunes of town centres and businesses across Scotland – help them reach their full potential and come through the economic downturn in the strongest possible position.’
By Alan McCrorie
GalGael Trust has announced plans to build a 50-foot birlinn, the first to be constructed in Scotland in four centuries.
The Govan-based group used their Birlinn: 400 Conference at the Pearce Institute to take the first steps towards restoring a lost piece of Scottish maritime heritage.
Birlinns, or Highland Galleys, were outlawed in 1609 as part of the Statutes of Iona written to undermine, then eradicate, Gaelic culture.
The day-long conference heard from a number of speakers including author Denis Rixson, who told of the evolution of the birlinn and its kinship with other vessels and seafaring traditions along the North Sea and Atlantic that dated back many hundreds of years.
Dr Colin Martin, of St Andrews University, explored the significance of medieval boat finds at Rubh’ an Dunain, a peninsula on Skye. The site features an inland loch and canal that runs to the sea.
The audience, which included boatbuilders, historians and heritage professionals from as far afield as Denmark and Scotland, also heard author John MacAulay’s reflections on the birlinn. Soren Nielsen of the Viking Boat Centre at Roskilde in Denmark recounted the voyage of the Havhingsten, a full-scale reconstructed ship, from his home waters to Dublin in Ireland.
Journalist and adventurer Maxwell MacLeod used his address, titled ‘The relationship between chocolate and birlinns’ to touch upon the boats’ significance as ships of trade.