Azza Mustafa joined Project MAMA in August 2021 as Health & Advocacy Coordinator, bringing with her 14 years of experience to the role, supporting women survivors of multiple forms of violence from European, African and Arab speaking communities, displaced people and survivors of trafficking.
It soon became apparent that Project MAMA needed to be able to provide cultural and language specific support to Arabic speaking mamas who reached out to us, and Azza stepped up to be able to provide this support with knowledge and compassion. Azza now works alongside our Mother Companions Coordinator to support Arabic speaking mamas during any point of our support.
When talking of her role, Azza shares:
“Clients get very excited when they know they will be able to get support in their language and that asking questions will be easier.”
“One of the women we supported recently had not left their room much, just for essentials. We helped improve her confidence going outside, knowing there was someone with her who spoke her language. She had only been in Bristol for 5 months before the birth of her baby.”
We’ve also seen how Azza’s achievements can be quite inspirational to our mamas. Since moving to the UK, she worked in many settings supporting women around health and wellbeing, domestic abuse and gender violence, including as Chair of Trustees to our partner organisation, Refugee Women of Bristol.
“I understand the people we support, I also struggled with being a mum in a new country, with a different language and not having your family around you.”
Some of our mamas choose to communicate in English with our Mother Companions as a means of practicing the language and growing in confidence talking in a different language to health professionals. In doing so, they can also check if a word or expression they have used translates well in English with someone who is fluent in their language, and this has been appreciated by the people we support.
Azza has been a great addition to the Project MAMA team. Her understanding of the needs and issues faced by the mamas we support has been invaluable. She also adds:
“I believe that women have the right to be supported through their pregnancy and beyond in order to harness their power and to give birth safely.”