I was initially apprehensive about having to the attend the first PatHERways session, I didn’t know many of the females in the group and I was anxious about having to meet them all. With so many of us it was obvious that the first obstacle would be learning names, Odiri combated this by beginning the session with a name story exercise. Whereby, we all said our name and then proceeded to tell the group the story behind the name. Many humorous stories were shared and I felt myself warming towards the group. Most of the session then centred around discussing social issues faced by young people and how they could potentially be countered.
By the second session I was looking forward to meeting the women again. I could feel the group dynamics changing in a way where everyone was finding their place. People were speaking with ease, and had already become more familiarised. In this session, we had to outline our future projects, and identify our learning styles. It was amazing to hear all the work the females want to bring about from black baby dolls, to public speaking workshops, to documentaries. It was almost like changing Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ to ‘I will bring about this dream’.
In both sessions, we have had to pick a picture from a deck of artistic cards and explain to the group why we had chosen this picture rather than the rest. Whilst some people don’t always take the task very seriously, others use it as an opportunity to express their feelings, worries, and reflections about various topics. As a task, it allows the group to bond and I believe respect each other’s views.
I can tell that this project will draw capabilities out of me which I had never known where there. I am also, 100% confident that the women in this project will play various roles in the UK’s future change, the diversity of our experiences and expertise not only solidify this claim. But the fact that we have elders willing to nurture our progressing journeys. I can only look forward to future sessions.
By Shaneka Knight