Savera UK Youth Conference

Savera UK delivered the North West’s first ever youth-led conference on harmful practices in 2018.

Savera UK Patron Nazir Afzal OBE and Founder, Afrah Qassim, delivered compelling speeches at the event, while Savera UK celebrity ambassador, Maya Jama, also participated in a Q&A as part of a panel discussion.

The conference allowed young people from Savera UK Youth to lead discussions on issues including forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour based abuse, with their peers.

The idea from the conference came after a ‘question time’ event during UK Parliament Week in 2017, when students at Calderstones School in Liverpool challenged then-Merseyside Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, Savera UK’s patron Nazir Afzal OBE, a local MP and host of other representatives from health, education and community groups on the topic of harmful practices.

The event highlighted the need for young people to educate one another and raise awareness around harmful practices and how to prevent them among their peers, leading to the creation of a youth programme called ‘Savera UK Youth’.

Over three months, youth programme members planned a conference that would raise awareness of issues such as forced marriage,‘honour’-based abuse and female genital mutilation (FGM) and engage young people across the UK.

The conference, which took place in November 2018 at The Conference Centre at LACE, featured a Q&A session with an expert panel and Savera UK ambassador and Radio 1 presenter, Maya Jama, poetry readings and keynote speech from a survivor of harmful practices.

The conference also played a key part in a hard-hitting film project about harmful practices called #StoptheWedding’, created by Savera UK Youth members.

Speaking after the event, Savera UK Founder, Afrah Qassim, said: “We were delighted with the event and proud of all the young people who took part and made it happen. They are the future and we must work to inform them of harmful practices as they are the key to preventing it from happening in future generations.”