It all started with a vision.
Young Empowerment Fund (YEF) participant, Sarah, discusses her project and being a funding recipient.discover more >
I am a girl still stuck in the schooling system, as ordinary as ever, in a family as ordinary as ever.
I was at the epicentre of my school life. The year I would have thought to be the most uneventful year OF MY LIFE, however nature decided to prove me wrong and out mutated the Covid-19 virus, forcing us to all retreat into hiding. For me life was better than ever: I could roll out of bed whenever, complete my work at my own schedule and just enjoy the total freedom of art whenever, phone whenever and not having to abide by any unreasonable rules. But just as it did for everyone else, the lockdown was bound to become boring, but not for me! You see I am one of those students that checks out almost everything and anything that is posted on the school’s general chat. So when I saw an advert for “think of a creative idea that tackles some of the challenges we are facing currently, in our lives and in our communities” and “the idea must set out to bring about a change, a change in their lives and/or the lives of others…” appear on the chat, I was thrilled. It was a dream come true. I had always wanted to make a change to anyone’s lives and this was perfect… all I needed was an idea.
So I came up with the idea of spoken word/lyrical competition for girls aged 12 – 16 based in the midlands with the topics to only be around the Covid-19 pandemic, any events that have taken place during the lockdown and its effects on the participants personally, as well as its impacts globally,
It has been widely reported in the media that the Covid-19 lockdown has had a large impact on the mental health of all ages, including the youth. I believe everyone needs a place where they can turn to when they need to speak about their problems, where they know they will be accepted and will not be judged, and this is what I used to inspire my idea.
Also I wanted to create an environment that allows girls from all backgrounds and religions to feel 100% comfortable, where they can express their own feelings in their own way. A place to share thoughts and release their emotions with people they can relate to. Being a muslim, I wanted to ensure this was a perfect environment for everyone, because as muslims we do not listen to music – so poetry and spoken word was the perfect solution. Not only that but poetry and spoken word is an extremely clever way to express oneself and can be quite enticing to the ears, as many poetry pieces often tell a story. Poetry can also be manipulated in many ways, some devices can even be so minuscule that they can’t even be depicted, even though they all individually have a great impact on the whole piece. And that is why I love poetry, especially when analysing it and learning about all the little devices that help build one vast picture.