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Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

UK Charity Week: The Kabor Project

Friday, December 7th, 2018

As UK Charity Week draws to a close, we want to update you on our Kabor Project.

What is the Kabor Project?

  • It started in 2004 as a response to the 10 year Civil War in Sierra Leone. An estimated 50,000 people were killed during this war with thousands brutalised.
  • The project was set up by Zainab Janneh (a former asphaleia Houseparent) and Dave Cottrell (asphaleia’s founder and CEO).
  • At the time, the focus was to help young women and children affected by the war. Many of the young women at the Kabor Centre, suffered sexual abuse during the war or were kept as ‘bush wives’ and dragged across the country as the war fronts shifted.
  • In recent years, The Kabor Project’s focus has shifted to vulnerable and marginalised young women and children including survivors of the Ebola crisis.

Kabor 2018 beneficiaries

What has it achieved?

  • The Project has helped over 500 young women learn new skills in Maths, English, catering, sewing, bead work, agriculture and health care.
  • Counselling and mentoring are available for all the beneficiaries as well as education on gender equality and HIV/AIDS prevention.
  • Kabor also works with rural communities supporting poor farmers and their families with agricultural training and farming. So far Kabor has helped over 2000 villages.
  • Kabor is currently providing training and life skills for 120 young women and a day care for 47 children and babies in the Kabor Creche.
  • Village farming activities in progress such as cultivation of cassava, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, vegetables.
  • Monitoring and supervision of farmers group activities including issues relating to Gender Based Violence (GBV), teenage pregnancy, Village Savings and Loan Scheme (VSLS) and early marriage.
  • Fundraising for new training materials for the centre.
  • Fundraising for equipment for the day care centre.
  • Fundraising for new farm tools, seeds and seedlings for villagers.

Whilst we see UK Charity Week as a key time to highlight the Kabor project, our support from the UK is vital all year round and we do various things to help raise money.

How can I support the Kabor Project?

  • You can help by simply sorting out any old foreign notes and coins left over from holidays and business trips. Foreign coins and small banknotes cannot be exchanged at any British bank or Bureau de Change. If you are able to donate these coins and banknotes, or a mobile phone or ink cartridge we would be grateful if you could post to our learning centre or stop by to drop them in the donation buckets.
  • The address is: 22 Liverpool Gardens, Worthing, BN11 1RY. All currency and proceeds from donated items will be converted to cash for Kabor!
  • Doing a fundraiser, or choosing asphaleia action to run the marathon for!
  • Tweeting a link to our donation page, especially on #CharityTuesday.

For more information, follow us at @asphaleiaaction or call 01903 522966.

 

Anti-Bullying Week

Monday, November 19th, 2018

National Anti-Bullying Week– 12th-16th November 2018

What is bullying?

“There is no legal definition of bullying. But it is usually defined as repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically, and is often aimed at certain people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation or any other aspect such as appearance or disability.” For more information, please visit: www.bullying.co.uk

Over the week and across the different locations of Worthing, Kent, London and Bognor Regis, staff and young people have been participating in different activities and discussions for anti-bullying week.

Odd Socks

In order to raise awareness, asphaleia joined many organisations nationwide who wore odd socks on Monday 12th November. Our creative and colourful effort was rewarded with Bullying UK tweeting us to let us know how great our feet looked!

 

Choose Respect

The theme this year for Anti-Bullying week was ‘Choose Respect’. In the 1:1 mentoring sessions and lessons staff have been talking to young people about what respect means to them and what they consider to be respectful. One of our staff members remarked:

Respect was a huge part of today’s topic and the statement that I encouraged them to take away from today was ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ We’ve also talked a lot about posting only positive things online; staying away from any kind of spread of negativity and respecting people’s differences in that we all feel different things and different things will trigger us.” (Ruby, asphaleia action)

Furthermore, in our 1:1 sessions in care and SAFE WL, young people commented that:

  • I feel respected when”People listen to me, when people treat me the same”
  • Showing respect to people is important because… “It shows that you care, so that their feelings do not get hurt”
  • I demonstrate respect for myself when I…”show that I am proud ofwhat I have achieved.”
  • I wish people were more respected becauseSome people are affected more ways than others”.

Wall of Kindness

To spread kindness, asphaleia training created a Wall of Kindness to encourage positive words being shared amongst staff and young people. These are just ‘snapshots’ of some of the things we got up to this week, where staff and young people both learnt a lot and had fun at the same time.

 

For more information and pictures,  you can follow us on our social media, @asphaleiainsta, @asphtraining or ‘like’ us on Facebook as asphaleia. Alternatively, for more information on our ventures, please call 01903 522966.

asphaleia Worthing Centre Open Day

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

On Thursday, 1st November, asphaleia action and training hosted an open evening for prospective learners and their parents, carers, support workers, and professionals to visit our centre. We are really proud of the work we are doing at the moment and were really excited to discuss all of the services we offer, and the work they have been doing to support young people. In training , we were pleased to talk about our On Track, Make Trax, and ESOL provisions, show student work and take visitors around the centre.

Similarly, we promoted asphaleia actions SAFE project, a project that aims to reduce the risk of trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and young people in West Sussex. SAFE works alongside schools, colleges, children services, local authorities, youth services and other professional organisations to provide a service of helping vulnerable young people identify and address their needs, build on their self-confidence and skills, strengthen ‘safer’ social networks and signpost them to other support services if further needs are identified.

Our tutors were available throughout the evening alongside student volunteers to answer questions, hand out literature about our ventures and explain student displays. It was brilliant to have professionals, parents and carers alike showing their interest in asphaleia, where we hope to have something helpful for every young person. We will be hosting more open days throughout 2019, and hope to help many more young people throughout the coming year via our training and action ventures. We hope to see you at one soon.

If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from any of our services, call us on 01903 522966 for more information or an informal chat. Alternatively, you can email graciethorne@asphaleiavlc.co.uk with questions and queries.

SAFE Kent British Values Workshop

Monday, November 12th, 2018

One of the sessions the SAFE project delivers to newly arrived unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Kent is on British values. The session covers some of the values and norms, as well as laws which include responsibilities and rights.

The young people engaged well in discussions when comparing values and laws across the countries they were born in and in Europe. Some discussions covered politics and how the systems may differ, even when countries may both be ruled by a form of democracy. Young people are very aware that the Police in England are here to deal with crime, which is often very different in their home countries where there may be different groups or corruption that deals with crime.

We had some interesting conversations about respect, what this means and how this manifests in different ways in different countries. Some of the young people offered respect for their elders meant not looking them in the eye, whereas here it is seen as more respectful to look people in the eye. We also discussed diversity and tolerance as England has such a diverse population when it comes to nationalities, ethnicity, age, religion and sexual orientation. We also discussed how these play different roles in different countries- religion might be much more important in other countries, and diversity in sexual orientation or disability might be frowned upon or create difficult situations. The young people created some poster art after our discussions.

asphaleia Open Day Thursday 1st November

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Our open day is for prospective learners and their parents, carers, support workers, and professionals to visit our centre. Our staff will be on hand to discuss all of the services we offer and show you around the centre, whilst our young people will tell you what they think of their learning at asphaleia.

Our open day is taking place on Thursday 1st November, 4pm-6:30pm at 22 Liverpool Gardens, Worthing. 

At our open day we will be presenting information about the organisation as well as specific information about asphaleia training and our charity, asphaleia action. You will have an opportunity to find out more about the qualifications we offer and other support we provide young people in West Sussex.

If you would like to book to attend please call us on 01903 522966, or email graciethorne@asphaleia.co.uk.

Sexting – Why is it so Popular With Teenagers?

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Reuters Health most recent study suggests: ‘At least one in four teens are receiving sexually explicit texts and emails, and at least one in seven are sending sexts.’

At safe, West Sussex, we regularly receive referrals to our project for teenagers who have sent nude, or partially nude, images to someone they know, and sometimes even someone they have never met, via the internet. This is an increasing problem in secondary schools, but why is it that some teenagers feel that is ‘the norm’ to send these types of images?

Sexting – what is it?

Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages.   These can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smart phones, laptops or any device that allows you to share media and messages.

Sexting may also be called:

  • trading nudes
  • dirties
  • pic for pic.

(Definition taken from NSPCC website)

Sexting – Why do it?

Sexting can be a healthy way for young people to explore sexuality and intimacy when it’s consensual.  After speaking to some of the teenagers safe are currently working with, some of the reasons they give for why teenagers do this are:

‘It’s a new thing, they want to try it out.’

‘It’s shown in films as being normal (e.g. romantic and comedy fims).’

‘It’s on Instagram and Snapchat, usually with year 9 or 10 pupils, so people think it’s ok to do it too.’

‘You might do it privately between your boyfriend or girlfriend.’

‘I think 95% of adults in their 20s and 30s do it, so why not?’

Sexting – What are the dangers?

The most obvious danger is that when these images are sent to someone you believe you can trust, they could send these on to anyone anywhere in the world.  Just because you are in a relationship with someone, it does not necessarily mean you are with them forever.  When relationships end, sometimes there are bad feelings and bitterness because of the break up, and these photos could be sent onto other friends, contacts online or schoolmates to try to embarrass the sender.  Don’t forget that the sender has no control over who else can see their image,  once it has been sent it to someone else, they can do whatever they like with that image.

These photos could also be used to blackmail the sender into sending other images.  When images are stored or shared online they become public. Some people may think that images and videos only last a few seconds on social media and then they’re deleted, but they can still be saved or copied by others. This means that photos or videos which a young person may have shared privately could still be end up being shared between adults they don’t know.

Young people may think ‘sexting’ is harmless, but it can leave them vulnerable to:

  • Blackmail  An offender may threaten to share the pictures with the child’s family and friends unless the child sends money or more images.
  • Bullying  If images are shared with their peers or in school, the child may be bullied.
  • Unwanted attention  Images posted online can attract the attention of sex offenders, who know how to search for, collect and modify images.
  • Emotional distress  Children can feel embarrassed and humiliated. If they’re very distressed this could lead to suicide or self-harm.

Sexting – The law

What the law says:

Sexting can be seen as harmless, but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child. A young person is breaking the law if they:

  • take an explicit photo or video of themselves or a friend
  • share an explicit image or video of a child, even if it’s shared between children of the same age
  • possess, download or store an explicit image or video of a child, even if the child gave their permission for it to be created.

However, as of January 2016 in England and Wales, if a young person is found creating or sharing images, the police can choose to record that a crime has been committed but that taking formal action isn’t in the public interest.

Crimes recorded this way are unlikely to appear on future records or checks, unless the young person has been involved in other similar activities which may indicate that they’re a risk.

If you are concerned about the images being shared by a young person you are working with, then safe, West Sussex can help.  We work with young people either on a one to one basis, or even in small groups to discuss online safety, the dangers of sexting and healthy relationships.  If you would like to make a referral, please contact either kayjones@asphaeia.co.uk or rubygarnham@asphaleia.co.uk or call asphaleia’s head office on 01903 522966 and ask to speak to Kay or Ruby.

     

Confidence Workshop in the SAFE Kent Project

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

On Monday the 6th of August, Gwen from the SAFE Kent project held a workshop on confidence. We discussed what confidence is, how it makes us feel and how it helps us in life. Lots of tips were shared on how to improve on confidence and the young people gained an understanding of how confidence differs in different situations based on our experiences and expectations.

When we had finished the learning part of the workshop we sat down to do some art on the theme of confidence. Some of the art work can be seen below. One of the young people drew himself and wrote ‘if there is a need there is a way’. We discussed adaptations of this saying in different languages, one of which is ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way. Another young person drew a bird of prey and wrote about ‘ flying above circumstances’. He spoke to me about how the bird represents him and his ability to overcome circumstances and not let them get in the way of what he wants to achieve in life.

Another young person drew himself at the bottom of mountains with a rocky road and a big sun at the top. He explained how the sun represents hope which he will always need and will get him through the mountains, which represent obstacles and challenges in life. He told me how important hope is in keeping his motivation going.

    

If you would like to make a referral to the SAFE project in Kent, please email referrals@asphaleia.co.uk.

asphaleia Marketing at Kent County Council Conference

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

This week asphaleia attended a conference at Kent County Council where we were part of a marketing place for attendees. The conference was attended by professionals from other local authorities and the aim was for Kent County Council to share best practice by supporting Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and how this has been managed over the years with large numbers of children entering Kent. The conference was attended by many professionals, some councils who we work with in other areas and also other organisations we have worked with who support young people such as the Refugee Council, KRAN, Kent Kindness Maidstone and the Red Cross. asphaleia was represented by Jodie Brown, the Care Manager, who shared information about our current services in Kent which include:

  • Our outreach service supporting young people in the community to learn and improve their independent living skills both at home and out in the community.
  • SAFE project working with young people who are supported to address any gaps in understanding around citizenship, respect for women, acceptable behaviour and attitude.
  • Palm Tree project providing therapeutic art work to young people to support them around mental health and well-being.

If you wish to make a referral to any of our services please contact us at referrals@asphaleia.co.uk.

 

Can Stress Ever be Useful? Our Young People on the Palm Tree Project Find Out!

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

We’ve all felt it, those butterflies and the tight knot in our stomach. Stress can help us cope and take action when needed and give us motivation. However stress can also become too much. Too much of the negative kind can lead to us struggling to cope.
Stress was this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week in May. On the Palm Tree Project, young people discussed what makes them stressed and what helps them cope.

Understanding how stress can also be useful helps to see this as a more balanced issue in life and not just one of negativity. Finding out what makes us stressed and what relieves our stress can be even more useful. A tool that can help make sense of this is the stress container (also sometimes called a stress bucket) tool designed by the Mental Health Foundation of England. Have a look for yourself, and share with anyone who might find it useful!

The stress-relieving activities offered by young people below are listening to music, playing guitar or cricket, and talking to friends. Young people found these things help them either discuss things that make them stressed and feel better about them, or provide a distraction from these- which makes them feel better. Talking about what helps you cope even when you feel good can be very important. It helps you remember in times when you do really need them, even though they could be the simplest of things, they can make a big difference!

The Palm Tree Project works with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children under the care of Kent Social Services, aged between 13-18 years. The project uses mentoring, art and music sessions to support better mental health and well-being. Contact Gwen in Maidstone on 01622 690 857 or at gwenvanstappen@asphaleia.co.uk to find out more.

         

Facebook Tops List of Sites Used for Online Grooming

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Figures show that since April 2017:

  • 32.6% of grooming cases involved the use of Facebook
  • 18.8% of grooming cases used the Facebook owned apps Instagram and WhatsApp
  • The second most-used app in grooming cases was Snapchat.1

Figures released by the Home Office on 26th April 2018 show that the total number of police-recorded grooming offences for the first 9 months of 2016/17, including both the offence of meeting a child following grooming and the new offence of sexual communication with a child, was 2,966. (NSPCC, 2018)

Here are some tips for keeping yourself safe online:

  • Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number.
  • Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself.  Once you’ve put  a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it, it’s not just yours anymore.
  • Keep your privacy settings as high as possible.
  • Never give out your passwords.
  • Don’t befriend people you don’t know.
  • Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online.  Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do.
  • Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are.
  • Think carefully about what you say before you post something online.
  • Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude.
  • If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately.

 If you are a young person, carer or professional and need further support with keeping children and young people safe online, please contact headoffice@asphaleia.co.uk for more information or to speak with one of our SAFE project workers based in Worthing, London and Kent.