Savera UK at Africa Oyé

By Afrah Qassim

For the first time, Savera UK was given the opportunity to attend Africa Oyé, a festival that brings communities together from across the UK and beyond to share and experience the African rhythm and culture.

The team take every opportunity given to raise awareness and speak out about ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices. Despite our small gazebo going to pieces in the first thirty minutes after setting it up, we didn’t give up. We sourced a suitable gazebo to use during the two day festival through our contacts and we were offered one by a community member Jo and Theresa who kindly offered us one to use for free to whom we are so grateful.

We spent two days talking to people from different backgrounds and places, including Leeds, London, Birmingham and Manchester. These two days gave us the opportunity to continue to break the silence and make sure people are empowered to talk about such issues and not to fear discrimination. It is important for us to speak out and to raise awareness about these issues in order to highlight the difference between cultural celebrations and the harmful traditions that need to be stopped. As an organisation that works to eliminate ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices, it is vital that these issues and the support networks available are visible wherever possible to ensure that those who may be at risk of harm are aware that they can get help and will be listened to.

We used our presence at Africa Oyé as an opportunity to create an interview style video around FGM, working with Jack-All Productions. Our international intern Mithara, asked the public ‘truth or myth’ questions to test their knowledge on FGM and inform them on the practice.

This film was supported by the Anti-FGM Network Group and was funded by The ACC Liverpool Group.