Article by a Calderstones Sixth Former

I took part in Savera’s course regarding harmful practices this year, and I must say it’s an experience to be remembered; beginning with a two hour session in which a collection of year 12 and year 13 students (including myself) to introduce us to the dangers that can be faced with regards to harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriages, as well as the likes of honour killings, which I myself had never heard of, felt like a beneficial insight into the world that Savera addresses, as a world that is unfortunately functioning within societies across the world.

This allowed us to then take a session with a group of year ten sociology students on such practices, opening their eyes to the issues that go on in the world. With a slow start to these proceedings, we eventually found common ground with the younger students and were able to effectively portray our message. Many students had never heard of female genital mutilation or honour killings, and so this gave us an opportunity to effectively showcase everything we had learned and inform the students of the issues at hand. I believe this to have been a hugely important activity, as it is important to have these discussions with people at a young age. For instance, I noticed that one of my fellow sixth formers was participating in a mini debate during one of the activities we gave to the students with a young boy from a Muslim family, who appeared to take issue with the idea that FGM was anything more than a cultural difference. This discussion was very respectful between both parties, and ultimately highlighted what I believe the main aim of this course was; to encourage discussion about important issues that may initially be considered as taboo, especially with a younger audience.

Following this session, a question time based activity took place in our school resource centre for all of the sixth formers and years tens to take part in, in which they would question a collection of local MPs, including Liverpool’s Luciana Berger. It was an enjoyable success and hugely beneficial.

Another sixth former who took part in the course and helped organise the Question Time Event, told me that he was:

“So proud to have been part of leading this event, one of the best things I’ve done!”

Ultimately, I believe that the work that Savera UK are currently doing has hopefully opened up the eyes of the youth of Calderstones School to what is a hugely beneficial and important thing to recognise, encouraging education, participation, and most significantly, discussion.