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Maelona's Blog on Tuwezeshe Fellowsh meet-up in Uganda

Maelona's Blog on Tuwezeshe Fellowsh meet-up in Uganda

12 Mar 2020

From 10th to 13th of February2020, Maelona Betts and Umulkhair Mohamed went to Uganda to meet other Tuwezeshe fellows and below is Maelona's blog on the trip.

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"During the two day trip to Uganda I had a fantastic opportunity to learn about the projects and activism that other young women have been leading and participating in. 

 

On the first day we had a chance to learn more about each other in a fun and interactive  way. This was led in group activities aimed at making the experience fun and relaxed. 

Once the preliminaries ended, we were split up into 3 large groups, and had to answer questions, we looked at what activism and feminism means to us as a reminder of our cause as well as the importance of self care. We also looked into The process and experience of our Tuwezeshe journey and the positives as well as the areas which could be improved  . The answers of each group in 3 different rounds were discussed between all of us. 

 

The Tuwezeshe circle was a safe space for us all to have a voice, everyone had opportunities and we're encouraged  to speak, to share their ideas and feelings. The rules of the safe space were considered beforehand and we're respected by all fellows and mentors. 

 

Day 1 successfully created an environment  in which we all felt comfortable around one another to have fun and also be serious when needed. We all learnt about each other's projects and became aware of the work and achievements Tuwezeshe had gained in other countries. This was very important and insightful for me because I began to appreciate more than ever the positive impact we are creating as a whole.  

 

After all the discussions, recaps, mental jogging and bonding it was time for us to prepare in our groups the workshops we were going to present the next day. 

 

As part of the group from Wales with sub Sahara advisory panel (ssap) we worked alongside the representatives of SSAP in Somaliland. The aim of the workshops was for us to share what we did for our projects in a creative way to attract attention. 

After a lot of planning and preparations, we all had a chance to socialise over dinner. 

Day two of the trip to Uganda was the day of the conference and our workshops. 

After travelling to the venue and preparing our workshops for later we were able to  take part in the conference. The conference was interesting and empowering, we heard the experiences, advise and encouragements of many women who are fighting to make changes for the younger generation  of African women. 

Pic 2: The Conference

 

The conference offered a strong and supportive platform for us all to share our passion for activism. I was most moved by Miria Matembe a former member of the Pan-African Parliament who spoke powerfully as a motivational speaker. Listening about the achievements of Tuwezeshe also filled me with pride, and it was clear that the organisation had gained a lot of interest of potential fellows. After the conference and our meal we all joined a workshop of our choice. These were not the workshops we were leading which would come later. 

 

The workshop I followed was about self care and mental health. I gained a lot of valuable knowedge on mental health, how to look after my mental health and more of an understanding of what is considered normal and healthy. This made many positive changes in my everyday life and I felt more equipt to help others in the future if I am able to take care of myself first. 

 

Finally it was time for us to host our own workshops. My group decided to attract the attention of others by creating a game. It was a good and fun way to interact with passersbys. The game was chatterbox, a game many may be familiar with in their childhood. We were all assigned a number and topic, my number being  5 and my topic was representation . If our number was chosen it was time for us to speak about our projects. Talking about my project by delving into the representation of art in Wales and how it can be relevant to women in the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community, the importance of the BME community in Welsh history and historical ongoing issues was exciting. On the wall we had a poster with the words 'let's play and chat', an open invitation to all who looked our way. 

Pic 3: Delivering one of the workshop session

 

I'll conclude by saying I feel privaledged to be apart of Tuwezeshe as a fellow and a member of an international sisterhood. The trip to Uganda was enlightening, I grew as a person and had a great opportunity to network and form friendships."




 

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