Workshops

I am an experienced workshop facilitator, with 20 years of experience working with immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers in different contexts. I facilitate writing, poetry, theatre workshops and Children's and Youth's workshop on creating art to make impact and express social justice. 
I am an immigrant too, I lived all my life as a migrant changing country and culture, language and habits. It's a huge experience, and even though I never had to travel escaping from war or famine or persecution, I had experienced all that sense of loss and displacement that you might feel when you are new to a country. With age I realized that migrating for me is the perfect status of being. Thinking beyond borders, beyond geographical spaces.

Get in touch about how I can facilitate a workshop that suits your needs, my rates are flexible according to the organisation and individual:  valentinammaka (AT) gmail (DOT) com



WRITING WORKSHOP

For children's writers
For children and youth
For writers 
For immigrants (refugees, asylum seekers)


WRITING WORKSHOPS FOR IMMIGRANTS

Sin Fronteras/Beyond Borders 
I Own My Story 
The Immigrant Experience
Representation of place, identity, memory, voice
[Suitable for immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers]

The workshop is aimed to motivate immigrants to find self-esteem and confidence by voicing their feelings that usually don’t have in their adoptive homeland. Immigrants can use writing to tell their stories and make impact by sharing their narratives with non immigrants. Writing is also used as a therapy to heal the most traumatic experiences of many who come from war, persecutions, violence. Storytelling empowers them because it gives them a sense of ownership over their trauma through language. The act of writing encourages to examine the experience from a place of distance and perspective. The voices serve as a powerful weapon against suffering and indifference.
The workshop  engages in dialogue and reflection around matters of agency, identity, creativity, self-expression and intersectionality around the migrant experience and beyond.  It also helps refugees use creative writing as therapy. It’s important to give expression to the immigrant and refugee's experience and to empower them to speak about what they have passed through on their own terms and in their own way.
The workshop holds an importance that relates to the entire society. Knowing how immigrants and refugees live in our urban areas allow us  to understand their feelings, their needs, their dreams, fix the conflicts that often raises from misunderstandings, stereotypes and prejudices. 

The workshop I Own My Story is also suitable for FGM and GBV survivors as a healing tool but also to keep record of all the single stories of women who have passed through traumatic events like FGM and GBV.



CHILDREN & TEEN WORKSHOPS 

I've been teaching writing in all school's levels, from primary to high school. Having lived in many countries and between cultures has allowed me to deal on a daily basis with issues like boundaries, identity, misrepresentation, prejudices, conflict, empathy, prejudices. I like to share what I've learnt and I like doing that through writing. 
Everyone has a story to tell, everyone is the recipient of many stories that we acquire from many different sources and it's a pity not sharing them with others. Stories connect us, no matter where we live. Stories speak to us in a personal way, no matter in what language they are written. Stories break boundaries, there's no time or space limit. Stories link us to our past and send us to the future.

POETRY WORKSHOPS IN SCHOOL

Teaching kids/Youth poetry is one of the most full filling experience. There's no more powerful way than help students building community and engaging through poetry. All  the stories that they come up with already exist within themselves, it's just a matter of pulling them out, finding a voice, a beat ( spoken word), an audience, a platform to share who they are, what they stand for, what they claim for themselves. Poetry open locks, cracks and fixes things. It also allows them to focus of what really matters to them. Spoken word poet Cath Brogan  says "schools need a poets" and that can't be more true.

CONFERENCES AND SEMINARS

I love meeting teachers, librarians and parents to talk about books, reading and how can we raise kids between cultures and providing them with the right bookshelf.

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