Our original idea with the ChangeMakers was to have young adults 18-25 years old. What we quickly discovered though was that would mean girls and boys could not work together. So instead we decided to work with 13-16 year olds. Some of the people we talked to were still sceptical about whether that could work but we decided to give it a go anyway.
In the first session I ran, we had about twice as many boys as girls. They were bigger, more physically noticeable and more demanding of attention. The girls would have been easily overlooked. So although letting each one of the 25 of them have their say and explain what JOY means to them, and let the interpreter explain it to me took a lot of time, it was an important shift. It meant the girls did speak. And they expressed themselves capably and beautifully which gave them more confidence. By the end of our 2 hour session they were sitting a little taller and more assuredly.
The next day as I arrived I started to see people I recognised from that session. And they recognised me. Already things felt a little different to the day before. I had asked the staff to gather 2 smaller groups, still with a 50/50 gender balance of young people, to get started on the baseline research. I explained the idea to them, they practiced on each other and then we set out to interview residents and gather data.
At first my young researchers were very hesitant. It is not easy to knock on doors in any context and this was no exception. The boys were more prepared to just get on with it but I could see how the girls really wanted to run away, how they were wishing they hadn’t signed up for this. I also know from my own experience that this awkwardness is part of the process that has to be gone through to get to the other side. I couldn’t speak directly to them because of the language barrier but could be there for them in the background and loved seeing them grow in stature and confidence as they progressed. By the time they came back the next day to do more they all looked a foot taller and three years older. They were proud of their new skill and I was proud of them.
Interesting to how despite all the terrible reasons why they are there, these girls and other women in the camp may have experiences and develop skills and confidence there that they would never have been able to do in the villages. I’m no expert on the local culture, but that was the sense I got from the experience. Maybe in the long run some good also comes out of the situation in terms of the isolation of the women in their homes.
(for security reasons and for their safety, we can’t post pictures of them here, hence more generic shots)
You can contribute here and help train a researcher or get involved.
Volunteer Centre Lewisham has a new project called Helping Hands.
This project will be providing services to residents and businesses in and around Lewisham Borough.
Our services include:
- IT assistance
Who can use it?
Our service is now available to anyone living in and around Lewisham Borough as well as to businesses.
What does it cost?
£15 per hour including VAT or £12 an hour including VAT if in receipt of benefits
How can you/your service users access the service?
You can call us on the office directly to arrange the service: 020 8613 7113
Or you can fill in the attached referral form on behalf of your client and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Attached is a leaflet providing more information about the project and the services.
If you have any queries please let me know.
Work Skills Development Officer- Helping Hands
Tel: 020 8613 7113
Volunteer Centre Lewisham, 2nd Floor Showroom, 307-313 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6NW
Charity no. 1089900
Company No. 4194910
Helping Hands leaflet Referral Form for services
Please spread the word, it’s Panto time again. We’ve been hard at it, polishing puns, winkling in innuendo, and generally working up a lather . . . we think we’ve finally got it just right. Now it’s the turn of lots of lovely people to make it come alive. 12th Sept, 7pm in the craft room at the Telegraph Hill Centre.
More details here
Please spread the word far and wide – this year, the Panto is a fundraiser for Telegraph Hill Centre and Bold Vision.
The Hill Trader is an exciting pop up shop in the Hill Station café run by local people for local people.
As part of what we’re doing at the Hill Station we have opened this shop as a pilot for 4 months, selling locally handmade things as well as bread and milk. We are working with local people who are giving us some of their products to sell, and in return will volunteer at the shop for a session a week. This means we all get lovely things to buy and they get valuable retail experience without the financial risk of renting a shop.
Our vision is to provide a space for people to both buy and sell locally produced goods, share skills and inspire others who want to create things to sell. We have aimed to be as inclusive as possible and are trialling a range of different items produced by people of all ages and backgrounds.
As a community initiative The Hill Trader shop will pass on the costs of sales directly to local people providing the goods, with 15% commission retained to cover set up and overhead costs.
We’re excited about starting this new venture and we are keen to hear whether you agree a shop like this would be a great resource for our community. Please do also get in touch if you have something you would like to produce for the shop.
The Hill Trader is grateful for the small start up grant it received from the Telegraph Hill Ward Assembly
Jacqui, Stephen, Sarah and all the local suppliers x