International Day of The Girl
On 11th of October members of The Circle and inspiring young people gathered together in celebration of International Day of the Girl.
Some highlights from Peta, The Circle Relationship Manager
The story of a young woman named Ashley. Ashley’s passion for and commitment to the vision of a small women’s shelter in Khayelitsha, South Africa, helped secure the funding for the shelter we know as the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre. The Circle members support this wonderful grass-roots project. To read Ashley’s story in a blog post written by The Circle Founder Annie Lennox please click here.
Our speaker Maya Ghazal’s response to the question about the moment she knew she was doing something significant. Maya shared that for her it was when she realised that by telling her story she was giving a voice to the millions of women and girls who do not have the same opportunities and experiences that she has had. This reaffirmed for me the importance of being a global feminist and amplifying the voices of vulnerable women and girls around the world!
Another significant moment for me was trying to match our second speaker Nasra Ayub’s description of herself as a quiet shy girl who didn’t draw attention to herself with the confident outspoken young woman in front of us. Nasra’s journey to personal empowerment started when her sister, who she admires, introduced her to Integrate UK. Through learning about and addressing issues faced by young women, Nasra herself has become empowered. I was moved by this because it is poetically similar to stories shared by our members when they share their journeys with The Circle. It is so inspiring to know that advocating for the most marginalised and vulnerable women and girls is empowering in itself!
Willow Mason’s live performance of her original song “Chains” gave many of us goose bumps!
It was also wonderful to share original music from the new “The Sisterhood Sessions”, written and created by young women from non-profit organisations in the USA thanks to Future Youth Records (FYR). There was something quite significant knowing that the young women who created the album were just waking up, as our event ended, to start their own International Day of the Girl celebrations in the US. FYR have given The Circle permission to share music from their album with our members, friends and followers. To listen to their inspiring music click here.
More about the event
The event took place in two parts at The Hive, in Camden. Part One was facilitated by Integrate UK, who work towards gender and racial equality by providing young people with the skills, confidence and platforms to lead social change. As the only youth-run activist group in the UK, the young outreach team deliver sessions on a range of challenging issues, including female genital mutilation (FGM) and grooming for child sexual exploitation using media and peer to peer discussion. You can watch one of their short films below:
Between sessions there was a relaxed break for our guests to enjoy delicious ethical drinks provided by our events partners Karma Kola. Music was provided by Future Youth Records (FYR)’s Think Women: powered by girls from their new album “The Sisterhood Sessions”.
Part Two of the event started with a powerful performance by Willow Mason. The Circle’s Executive Director Sioned Jones then opened the discussion on the topic of the importance of young people in the global movement for gender equality. She did so by sharing Ashely’s story. The panel discussion was inspiring and reaffirmed the importance of young people in the global movement for gender equality.
More about our powerful speakers
Maya is a 19 year-old Syrian refugee from Damascus who arrived in the UK via family visa reunion in 2015. Despite initially struggling with English and facing rejections by schools, she is now pursuing Aviation Engineering with Pilot studies at Brunel University London. She is a prominent speaker for UNHCR’s refugee family visa reunion rights campaign, an ambassador for The Children’s Society and an advocate for refugee rights. She is the recipient of Diana’s Legacy Award, the Inspire Midlands Diana Award 2017, and recently the Asian Women of Achievements Award as a Young Achiever. She tries to inspire people through her speeches and aims to encourage the idea that that the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Nasra Ayub is a recent Politics graduate and has been with Integrate for four years. She is a vocal feminist, campaigning for gender and racial equality and against all forms of violence against women and girls. Nasra has represented Integrate at numerous events around the country and has appeared in many of their media productions. She has provided consultation to a range of government Ministers including the current and former Prime Ministers.
The event was a huge success and we want to thank all of the young people who joined us on the night, those who lent us their voices from afar, our members who make the work we do possible and of course our fabulous event partners.
Become a member today or make a donation to the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre and let’s keep Ashley’s vision alive together!