At Savera UK, we work to empower survivors of ‘honour’-based abuse, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and other harmful practices. By doing so we aren’t just building up confidence, but also encouraging them to help us raise awareness.
As part of our campaign to #SpeakOut, BBC Radio Merseyside producer and presenter Ngunan Adamu provided training sessions for our clients who felt ready to learn about sharing their stories. Across two sessions, Ngunan, who is also the founder and CEO of iWoman Academy, spoke to Savera UK clients about the power of sharing stories, what journalists look for and how to write a press release.
Speaking about the training Ngunan said: “The aim of the session was methods in owning your voice, be confident in telling your story and having a knowledge of how the media industry works especially when dealing with journalists.”
Ngunan did this by asking clients what their story was, discussing story plot lines and narratives and by asking how they can be confident in recording their story.
During the first session, Ngunan asked clients about a story they remembered and the reasons why they remembered it. We learnt that emotion, relevance and timing were all important in creating a newsworthy story. Clients learnt how to connect with an audience and were asked to write their own stories ready for the next session.
The following day Ngunan discussed their stories with the clients and talked about how to capture people’s attention, the best way to build a story and how to tell your story in a way that suits you. Our clients recorded their own stories to get used to saying them out loud, an exercise that some found difficult but important to do.
Asked what her highlight of the training was, Ngunan said: “I loved how engaged the participants were, they took part in every part of the session, even when it was hard for them to tell their story.”
She said they responded well to the training and “acknowledged how hard it was for them to tell their story” but said it “felt like it was like therapy”.
Ngunan added: “And I learnt from them, it was a reciprocal experience.”
One Savera UK client said: “During the workshop, it was amazing to see participants’ stories take form, especially to witness their impact double as Ngunan helped us tell them more effectively.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went in. After all, how could a two-day workshop help me lift the writers’ block that I have carried around for nearly half a decade? But somewhere in the middle of our exercises or getting answers to some longstanding questions, something clicked.
“I can already feel blog posts and articles bubbling in my head. I haven’t felt this way in a long, long time.”
You can see a series of animations of the client stories that emerged from this training here.
Thank you to Ngunan, and to the Small Change Fund and the Lloyds Bank Foundation who funded this training and helped amplify the voices of Savera UK clients.