in News February 19, 2019

Girls Leadership Programme at Al Manaar Mosque

On Monday 18th February, Julie Siddiqi, who has more than 20 years experience in community grass-root work led a Girls Leadership Programme at Al Manaar Mosque. It is part of our work with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to deliver programmes for young people within the North Kensington area to enhance the work being done in the community and with families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

Noshin Bano, Project Manager from Family Action came in to briefly talk about their work with families affected by the Grenfell fire and to encourage volunteering generally. She told her own stories about her upbringing as a woman from Pakistani background. Wajeeha Amin is a psychotherapist counselor, coach, mentor and facilitator and ran some of the sessions.

We spoke about self esteem and confidence. What that means to them, how it plays out in their lives. Through our discussions it also became apparent that many of the girls suffer from anxiety issues and need more techniques to learn how to deal with those. Two of the girls related to each other and bonded when they found out they had both had panic attacks for the first time in the last month. Both said they had not met anyone before who had been through it and spoken about it.

At the start the girls were asked to draw their name and throughout the sessions the girls added to those. By the end we had some amazing and some deep artwork.  Some of the girls commented on how much they enjoyed that exercise, not something they usually do but was a good way to get them thinking about themselves and what is important to them. Five of the girls agreed that being given a mentor would be helpful to them and we will help develop that.

Very few of them do any campaigning or charity work but many are interested to do so. The workshop will continue on Thursday 21st February with Esmat Jeraj, Community Organiser and Activist, coming to talk about community organising and campaigning.

“I enjoyed being able to just sit down and let myself be creative, it’s not something I do very often and not something I think I’m good at but it was therapeutic” – Inshrah, 16

“I benefited from the discussions about self esteem and confidence and would like to find more ways to deal with stress and anxiety” – Hadiya, 18

in News February 19, 2019