Molouk’s first few months living in London was fraught with difficulties. She now is supported by the Middle Eastern Women Society and Organisation to be physically active through yoga and talks about the physical, mental and social benefits she now experiences, read on to find out more about Molouk’s story.
Tell us a bit about your journey until now
I moved to London from Iran seven years ago with my husband. The marriage broke down and I ended up being made homeless. I was in a very bad place. I had very bad depression and had broken my leg, I couldn’t walk. Being homeless gave me back problems and my spine changed shape. I lost everything, I lost my life, my healthy body. But when I came to Middle Eastern Women Society and Organisation (MEWSO) things started to get better.
What was your journey through physical activity and sport, what got you to where you are now?
My specialist doctor told me yoga is good and would help my body heal and help with my focus. I came to MEWSO for exercise. They helped me, they counselled me.
All the women in the group are lovely, they are like family, they care about you. Sometimes when I’m not well, they call me. When I come here for exercise my leg is better, I feel better, I feel less pain, it is good for everything.
Before I came to the London I played volleyball, mountain walking and kayaking, but when I came here I lost everything, I lost my life, I am starting again now. Every body needs a future. I come to MEWSO every week, this place is very important. Some people can’t go to family or friends to share, and sometimes people stay at home. This is a safe place where people can express and if they speak their mood is changed. This place helps lots of people.
What is your motivation and struggles to being physically active and how do you overcome these?
A lot of ladies from middle east they can’t mix with genders, sometimes for culture or religion. It is very important for places to be just female because they can go. It’s important for me to go to MEWSO because I can help others in a similar situation, I can teach them about my life. Every positive you give to another people, like a circle.
For me, humanity is very important. Thinking about the future I would like a good job to help others through art. When I go back to work I want to help others, children, homeless people. Before people teach me a lot of things, I want to give back.
MEWSO are one of the organisations funded by the Greater London Authority through the Social Integration Fund to build stronger communities in London through physical activity and sport. The programme is administered by London Sport and involves providing a framework of support, education and guidance to these funded projects.
Find out more about the Mayor of London’s Social Integration Strategy which places sport at the heart of efforts to boost inclusion in London as well as the £3m London Together Fund announcement last month with funding applications open until 16 May 2018.