Savera UK is celebrating its 10-year anniversary – who would ever have thought? My initial idea was to put on an event to highlight the difference between forced marriage and arranged marriage and get professionals to understand that forced marriage did not only happen in just the South Asian community. Ten 10 years later and we have achieved so much more and facilitated so much change.
Since that initial idea, Savera UK has made a huge contribution to the change of service provision and policy making, in the Liverpool City Region and beyond. It has become nationally and internationally recognised.
Savera Liverpool was born on 11th August 2010. After a long discussion about the name of the organisation, two of our community participants, Kiran and Shashi, suggested the name and its meaning. I fell in love with the name and what it stood for – ‘new beginning’. The work in setting up as a charity followed. The Board was set up and I was voted as the Chair. The original Board members then were also part of the Domestic Abuse and BME Communities group – Gill Moglione, Kiran Sharma, Shashi Gupta, Kerry Nugent, Tara Thomas and Marie Wheldon. They stood by my side and together we built Savera Liverpool. I thank them and every single person (there are too many to name) throughout the years who have supported and been involved in making Savera UK what it is today.
This work would not have been possible without so many dedicated people from the start and I am not sure I can name everyone, but the originals who was part of the group and supported the establishment of the charity are:
The Domestic Abuse and BME Communities group
Mariam Al Kathiry
The development day when Savera was born:
Assia Bibi, Gill Moglione, Margaret Brown, Mariam Al Kathiry, Jayne McPartland, Michael Horloku, Shashi Gupt, Kiran Sharma, Ranjan Mehta, Marie Wheldon, Denise Dawson, Manjeet Singh and Taher Qassim.
By Afrah Qassim, CEO & Founder of Savera UK