A look back at a busy and successful year at Savera UK

Savera UK had another very busy year in 2019 from providing crucial support to over 100 individuals at risk of harmful practices, to encouraging thousands of people to #SpeakOut as part of our campaign to eradicate ‘honour’ based abuse and other toxic traditions. Take a look at what we got up to and find out how you can support us in the coming year.



Building on the success of the Savera UK Youth Conference at the end of 2018 and the hard-hitting film #StopTheWedding, Savera UK Youth participated in a project with the National FGM Centre to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on 6th February, which helps to raise awareness about this often hidden crime.

The project culminated in an exhibition and Savera UK Youth’s participation at The National FGM Centre’s seminar in London where leading experts gathered to explore the medical aspects of FGM.

“I’m blessed to have taken part and can’t wait for projects in the future.” – Ayo Folarin, Savera UK Youth Participant at National

International Women’s Day 2019

FGM Centre seminar.

Savera UK and LCDS coordinated the annual International Women’s Day event, this year sponsored by MSB Solicitors and RASA. The event was further supported by many other agencies including WHISC, Women Reach Women, Toxteth Women’s Group, Refugee Women Connect and Liverpool Adult Learning. Liverpool Adult Learning kindly provided free activities for both the women and children attendees and also Amani Services. As always, the aim is to celebrate our annual achievements as extraordinary women and explore the theme #BalanceforBetter.

As part of their recognition and support of International Women’s Day, Abel & Imray helped Savera UK in applying to register our trade mark and therefore protecting the charity’s name. Abel & Imray chose to cover all the expenditure for this application.

“We are very pleased to have been able to help SAVERA UK in applying to register their trade mark and protecting the charity’s name.” – Senior partner and patent and trade mark attorney of Abel & Imray, Jim Pearson

During this quarter, Savera UK also became part of the Anti-FGM Network as well as continuing to deliver a range of projects and activities to raise awareness and improve skills and understanding within the realms of harmful practices, including taking part in Women’s Labour Liverpool and Ahmadhiyya Women’s Group International Women’s Day events and completing harmful practices training in Wirral and Liverpool with the support of Merseyside Police.


Savera UK Youth at FACT

Savera UK Youth were busy this quarter, working with FACT to create a short film around Gender Narratives, establishing the Savera UK Youth Advisory Board and being invited to speak at the National FGM Centre’s event on RSE: The Role of Education in Responding to FGM and other Harmful Practices.

Savera UK Youth and some of the organisation’s service users then worked together to create the #ImSpeakingOut campaign to empower people to speak out for themselves or others in relation to ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices. Alongside this and the expertise of Nonconform, Savera UK rebranded and relaunched the Savera UK website in order to make it easier for professionals to make referrals for those at risk, to ensure that they get the help they need.

“Working with the wonderful Savera is always an inspiring process. This year was no exception, working directly with clients and Savera Youth we collectively generated ideas that later transformed into the graphics for the campaign – which is all about spreading the word and speaking out about harmful practices. The solution wouldn’t have been so successful without the input of the whole group the collective working relationship ensures we deliver the right message.” – Charlie Weatherstone, Nonconform

The Liverpool World Centre also worked with our service users on a Counter Narrative project around extremist views and challenging stereotypes. This project empowered our service users to share their stories in a safe space and encouraged them to open up about cultural challenges they have experienced with communities.

During this quarter we joined our Youth Ambassador Maya Jama as part of her school tour for Mental Health Awareness Week and held a stall at Africa Oyé, where we tested the public knowledge on the subject of FGM in order to raise awareness. Savera UK also took part in many community and professional engagements including becoming part of the National Policing Chief Council (NPCC) and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Stakeholders for Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation. As well as providing harmful practices training for Calico, a housing organisation in Burnley.


The #ImSpeakingOut campaign was launched on the National Day of Remembrance for those lost in the name of so called ‘honour’ in July. We held a successful

Savera UK performance about honour based abuse and harmful practices
Savera UK volunteers perform their piece ‘Break the Silence’

public event which, included speakers and performances that raised awareness about ‘honour’-based abuse.

As part of Operation Limelight with Merseyside Police, Savera UK stationed themselves at Liverpool John Lennon Airport in order to speak to the public about ‘honour’.

“By working with Savera UK, we aim to raise awareness of ‘honour’-based abuse in the wider public, whilst empowering victims to speak to us, knowing that our dedicated officers can and will support them and bring offenders to justice…the more we raise awareness, the easier it is to spot the signs and help vulnerable people who may be too frightened to reach out to us themselves.” – Detective Superintendent David McCaughrean, from Merseyside Police.

Working with Merseyside Police, we recorded a survivor’s story to highlight the issues surrounding ‘honour’ based abuse in July.

Savera UK were also pleased to welcome two new survivor ambassadors to support our work, Babs Ceesay who is an FGM campaigner and Kiara Mohamed who is an artist, poet and activist.


Savera UK Youth evolved their FGM exhibition by recruiting more young people to take part in the project,  increasing the number of photographs showcased, creating more poetry and developing a hard-hitting performance. They then launched their exhibition in November for UK Parliament Week with guest speakers Payzee Mahmod and Savera UK Patron Nazir Afzal. The event was a success with an overwhelming proportion of attendees being young people.

Read blog from Savera UK member Elias.

Savera UK Youth were also nominated for a Liverpool City Region Culture & Creativity Award and Youth Advisory Board members were honoured to attend the ceremony.

We also launched a partnership with perfume brand Bare&Bond who produced a special Savera UK X Bare&Bond subscription, with 10% of all proceeds being donated directly to us.

Savera UK campaign to eliminate ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices and provide life-saving services to those at risk, regardless of age, culture, sexuality or gender. We are committed and passionate about the work that we do and we need your help to continue to support to break the silence on these very important human rights issues.

For 2020, you can help us and pledge to:

  • Join our #ImSpeakingOut campaign: We want people to join us in speaking out about these subjects and break the stigma around discussing things like female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour based abuse. There are people out there who can’t speak out so by breaking the silence we are giving them a voice.
  • Donate to our cause: What does your money do? Every penny we receive goes towards ensuring that Savera UK continues to support those who need it.
  • Volunteer for Savera UK: Savera UK need volunteers to support its service. If you have particular skills that could be useful to Savera UK and want to help make a difference in your local communities then please sign up using the sheet or speak to a member of Savera UK staff.
  • Help break the silence: By telling someone about harmful practices, you are sharing that information and giving them the tools to speak to someone else. Spreading the word about harmful practices and Savera UK’s services could reach someone who needs support. You could save a life. Recognising abuse is a way of showing support and standing up to these issues.