Savera UK, a charity working to end ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, is celebrating its recent partnership with business strategy programme Pilotlight.
Pilotlight is a charity pairing teams of business advisors, referred to as ‘Pilotlighters’ with charities for coaching and mentoring during strategic opportunities and challenges.
Over 10 months, Savera UK’s CEO and Chair met with its own dedicated team of three Pilotlighters and its project lead to develop the charity’s business strategy, vision and mission. Through the sessions each specialist Pilotlighter helped Savera UK consider ways to improve organisational aspects of the charity through open and honest discussions on strengths, weaknesses and past performance.
Savera UK’s CEO, Afrah Qassim, and Chair, Aislinn O’Dwyer, discussed with their team of Pilotlighters what makes Savera UK unique in its operations and delivery, and set strategic goals to clarify the next steps for the organisation.
Following the sessions, Savera UK is now looking ahead to its next period of growth as we continue providing vital direct intervention services for those at risk of HBA and harmful practices while protesting these human rights violations through campaigns and awareness-raising.
Fiona Wilson, a senior leader in the private sector and one of the Pilotlighters, said: “I believe I speak for the Pilotlighters if I say that Savera UK is on a big journey, but it is very capable, resourceful, and has great potential. To have been invited into its world and the work that it does, and to have seen its progress and the impact it has – it has been a privilege!”
Afrah Qassim, CEO and Founder of Savera UK, said: “This was an opportunity that came at the right time as we looked to develop the next stage of Savera UK. Each Pilotlighter provided us with a different perspective from their own area of expertise, helping us pre-empt potential challenges and gain clarity on the charity’s goals. There was total commitment from both sides, which ensured we achieved our goals set at the beginning of the programme of setting the organisation’s vision, mission, values and planning our three-year strategy.
“Personally, I have found this experience invaluable as it has allowed me to explore and evaluate my own perception of the organisation as the CEO and given me important advice on leading a team at time of change and development. By being challenged on Savera UK’s strategy, development and operations we came out of the programme with a level of insight that has prepared us for our next steps as we work to end ‘honour’-based abuse and other harmful practices.
“Thank you to all the Pilotlighters who have supported Savera UK as we embark on this next chapter.”