Founder Afrah Qassim reflects on 2019

Afrah Qassim
Savera UK July Event

Reflecting on 2019, as an organisation we have exceeded our goals. However, we have faced a number of challenges which tested our resilience and showed me the strength of everyone involved in Savera UK to not allow these challenges to overtake the beliefs and values of the charity in supporting those who seek our help and advice. We have learnt from these challenges that it’s important to have the time to reflect, review and learn, if not, it would no doubt have an impact not just the organisation, but on the health and wellbeing of our staff and more on those seeking our support.

We have achieved so much in 2019 including our #IMSPEAKINGOUT campaign which has been such a huge success. The campaign was developed by our survivors and young people, who wanted to come together and create a campaign that can reach and speak to everyone. This project enabled both to learn from one another. The Savera UK staff was not sure this would work with the young people and survivors due to life experiences, but after consultation with both sides and their willingness in wanting to work together the project began.

They wanted to create one voice which showed us that there is no age, short or long term experience needed to understand these harmful practices and the importance of being united and working together to ending such horrific traditions that we should not away from speaking out about. The campaign reached thousands of people through a range of annual events, social media and the website. We had such positive feedback on how the campaign encouraged individuals to speak out not just about difficult issues that are considered taboo, but to speak out and celebrate our beautiful culture and identity. The campaign is ongoing and we encourage everyone to join us in speaking out.

Furthermore, our youth led programmes have developed even more this year, where the young people have their Youth Advisory Board working with the Savera UK Board and team to maintain the work of youth projects and be the voice of the orgranisation for young people. As a result of their work, they were nominated and shortlisted for a number of awards.

We are very delighted to have a number of new partners this year, including the Bare&Bond who believe in the work Savera UK does. They are supporting by donating a percentage of their perfume sales to Savera UK.  Savera UK also registered as a trade mark with support of Abel and Imray. This was a great way to celebrate our International Women’s Day 2019.

We already have a number of exciting things to start 2020 including a new partnership with North Wales Domestic Abuse Safety Unit. We also secured three years of funding from the Big Lottery Fund (Reaching Communities) to recruit a Chief Executive Officer for the organisation and more.

I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for continuing to work and support us. We may not say it often but your support means so much to our clients, the Savera UK Board, the team and myself. THANK YOU and wishing you a year full of opportunities to thrive and continue in making a difference.

Afrah Qassim