Multaka in Arabic translates in English to 'meeting point'. Multaka-Oxford uses museums and their collections as a ‘meeting point’ for bringing people together. The museums become the platform for sharing culture whilst contributing skills, knowledge and experience through volunteering.
The programme is being delivered jointly by the Pitt Rivers Museum and the History of Science Museum. Working in partnership with local community organisations including Asylum Welcome, Connection Support and Refugee Resource.
The project was funded until September 2019 by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund. Now, thanks to the generosity of individual donors and The Barakat Trust, funding has been secured for a further year.
This year the project has received a number of awards including Museum + Heritage Award for Best Volunteer Team 2019 and a Highly Commended for Partnership Working. In September Multaka was named winner of the 2019 Collections Trust Award.
Over the past 2 years, the Multaka-Oxford volunteer team have given over 1,200 hours of their time. The volunteers – many of whom have recently arrived in the UK from countries including Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Sudan – are collaborating with museum staff to run tours of the collections in Arabic and English, plan and deliver events, research collections, co-curate displays, enhance collections documentation and manage social media channels. Over 1,800 people have attended events and tours run by the volunteers. As one volunteer says ‘We are ambassadors for the museum opening the doors, especially for those who are scared, or feel it is not for them.’
The project is inspired by Multaka: Museums as a meeting point, which is based in Berlin.
Find out more about the Multaka-Oxford project at the Pitt Rivers Museum.
Find out more about the Multaka-Oxford project at the History of Science Museum.