Karene

“I was new in Scotland when I came to MIN. I felt lost and lonely, I needed a purpose for life. I also missed interaction with a variety of cultures that I was used to having, coming from a multicultural country.

At first I joined MIN as a participant in the Oasis women’s group, and then became a volunteer after a couple of months. The most important part of my experience at MIN was the relationships I built. I realised that above everything MIN is about providing a place where people make friends, laugh together, shared experiences and felt welcomed. When you arrive in a new country, everything is foreign and it can take a long time for people to feel like they belong there. At MIN you find people who understand how that feels.

MIN makes people feel like they belong, no matter who they are or where they come from. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I began volunteer ESOL tutoring with MIN. It was wonderful to have solid weekly goals, to create relevant lessons and see them being enjoyed; we had many good laughs together! These moments – many over WhatsApp – reminded me that difficulties can be overcome and so much is possible, if you just give it a go.

And most of all, every little bit of kindness counts.”