Before I joined The Feast, I was involved in a number of youth related projects. Throughout my work experience I’ve come to the realisation that it’s very difficult for young people to discover their true potential when their moral compass is constantly being tested in everyday life. What attracted me to The Feast was that it was a Christian organisation with a focus on loving your neighbour regardless of where they’re from. This drew me in as I had recently spent time with people who struggled to do this because of their cultural differences. I was intrigued to see how they could get people of different faiths to have peaceful conversations about faith without it becoming confrontational.
When I was introduced to The Feast’s Guidelines for Dialogue it took me to the next level in my personal development; by using this in my sessions I automatically improved my inter-personal communication skills not only when working with teenagers from different backgrounds but also in every day conversations. My time at The Feast also helped me understand the real challenges that teenagers go through when discovering their identity, whilst trying to live out their faith confidently at home, in school and the community. What we do at the Feast is definitely vital in this day and age.
My experience doing Feast work in schools has given me the work ethic necessary to nurture teenagers into confident and resilient leaders of the next generation. Every youth encounter with students has been memorable, One of my most successful accomplishments was in my first year with The Feast, where I used the funding we won funding from Heart of England trust, to lead an inter-faith School Challenge day bringing together 60 students from four schools in the Aston, Lozells and Handsworth areas of Birmingham: King Solomon IBS, Broadway Academy, Eden Boys’ School and Handsworth Wood Girls’ School.
On the day, pupils we mixed into teams with students of other faiths, cultures and backgrounds and together they took part in a number of sports, games, quizzes and faith discussions and ended the day with an awards ceremony where they all received medals. Following this event, I was able to continue the relationship between the schools and students and was able to hold further activities with them throughout the year. We repeated this event again including Nishkam High School earlier this year.
Another one of my favourite memories was the cross-cultural dance exchange event, where I got to combine my passion for performing arts with my infer-faith work.
I got my own students from my performing arts school G.A.P Academy to get involved and It was interesting to see the dynamics change as we introduced new dance styles and told them they would all be performing together on 17th May at Digbeth Banqueting Hall at The Feast Annual Spring Dinner. Together the group trained in Ballet, Hip-hop, Bhangra, Afrobeat, Contemporary and Liturgical dance and performed a spectacular piece together highlighting all their different skills. They also wrote and performed poems based on their own faith and Identity. That was a very proud moment for me.
I am very grateful that I get to work at The Feast; not only have the team helped me in my personal life but they have also supported my work with G.A.P, giving me some valuable advice and helping me secure funding to help with my projects outside of The Feast. Last year was also an amazing highlight for me as I had the privilege of being nominated by my managers Carolyn, Jill and Andrew, for ‘The Bringing People Together’ award, given by the Community Foundation. I am so honoured to have won this award and been recognised for my work. I am truly thankful for all the opportunities The Feast provides and it is a pleasure to work with such genuine people who love God and have heart for all people.