GFS National Weekend 2019: Girls and Young Women Today

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Girls Friendly Society volunteers from around the country gathered in April for the the GFS National Weekend.

This year’s event named ‘Girls and Young Women Today’ was held in Birmingham and saw 40 volunteers participate in a number of training sessions and workshops hosted by GFS staff.

The three days covered topics such as community fundraising and community engagement, planning activities and – of course- issues facing girls and young women today.

There were also plenty of opportunities for volunteers to feedback ideas as well as get to know their fellow volunteers from all over the country during breaks and discussion workshops.

Guest Speakers

Girls Friendly Society are very grateful to the wonderful guest speakers who brought so much energy, passion and interest to the weekend. Each speaker addressed volunteers on a number of different topics and then went on to facilitate an activity exercise for the volunteers to take back to each of their groups.
The guest speakers were:

Maya Ghazal Girls Friendly Society

Maya Ghazal is a 19 year-old Syrian refugee from Damascus who arrived in the UK via family visa reunion in 2015. Despite initially struggling with English and facing rejections by schools, she is now pursuing Aviation Engineering with Pilot studies at Brunel University London. She is a prominent speaker for UNHCR’s refugee family visa reunion rights campaign, an ambassador for The Children’s Society, a TEDx speaker and an advocate for refugee rights.
Aliyah Hasinah is a poet, curator and aspiring filmmaker based in Birmingham whose writing focuses on personal understandings of history, politics and culture. Aliyah recently co-curated ‘The Past is Now’ exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. She is also part of Art against the grain collective and 1/3 of the podcast Who Got the Juice?
Sophie Yates Lu Girls Friendly Society

Sophie Yates Lu is the Senior Programme Manager at Campaign Bootcamp, a national campaigning and activism training organisation. Campaign Bootcamp’s mission is to equip those most impacted by injustice with the skills, community and confidence to run effective campaigns. Sophie is also a Survivor Ambassador and Youth Advisory Panel member for Women’s Aid, a Campaign Coach with the Advocacy Academy, and a BAME Stonewall Role Model.

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