When I first came to SATEDA I was a complete wreck, emotionally and mentally. I doubted myself in everything from decision making and thinking for myself, but I wanted to make something good of a bad situation. So I became a volunteer on the Employability Programme.
To start with this was very daunting for me, just being around in the office answering the phone was stressful and a challenge. I was just the new girl, making tea and photocopying but I really felt I belonged, I was there daily the girls in the office couldn’t get rid of me. I found them so inspiring and strong women, helping and empowering women. They made me feel welcome and that’s when I knew I wanted to empower and inspire people.
Two years on I’m a totally different woman. I’ve been able to go through my journey with SATEDA to find my self-worth and believe in myself. I actually have a voice, they can’t shut me up!
To start with I co-facilitated lots of groups, which gave me all the knowledge I needed to learn, there were numerous topics self-esteem, confidence, my rights and boundaries etc.
The most important of these to me personally is, I’ve now recognised the differences between wants and needs. I’ve been able to identify my own needs as a person and in a relationship, so when the time finally ever comes and I have another relationship I won’t surrender passively only to their needs, which won’t leave me open to abuse.
I am now a facilitator for Power2Change which is an incredible rewarding role as you see the women go from little caterpillars when they first come and with the knowledge and tools on offer they are able to flutter off as butterflies.
Doing my group facilitating roles, both with children and adults, I’ve realised how far I’ve come and how strong I am now, what a difference 2 years can make and I owe it all to SATEDA, as I’ve said many times before I wouldn’t be this strong woman I am now if it wasn’t for all of them.
They’ve supported, guided, listened and most of all believed in me and gave me a chance. With all the knowledge, I know now I realise there is not only life after abuse but there’s a better life and much more. I will continue to do my volunteering as it’s made me a better mum, friend etc.
Volunteering has made me feel like I have a purpose in life where I feel so valued, I can see myself staying for as long as they will have me, funny thing is I don’t feel like a volunteer, I feel as part of a team.