Category Archives: Testimonial

Ayser Al Jawad, Middle Eastern Cultural Group

What is your proudest Citizens moment?

Witnessing  important issues, being presented by normal people (citizens) working together toward a common goal and achieving it.  I observed stake holders including the city councillors from all different political parties and MPs agree to the people’s requests for accepting more refugees, to sign up to Living Wage and more.  The most recent proud moment was being part of the team that planned the Great Get Together Iftaar on 16th June.

What’s the impact of membership been on you and your institution? 

This year, our community took part in various events and actions.   We developed strong links and relationships, both personal and as an organisation., friendships with people from all walks of life and from many local and national organisations.   We achieved exposure for our work and goals, and found common ground, values, aims and passions, shared with many in our wider MK community.

What are you most looking forward to over the next 12 months?

I am looking forward to the next task;  planning and organising a Fight Against Hate summit during national Hate Crime Awareness Week which will be mid-October.  We will be supporting Citizens:mk’s Fight Against Hate campaign team.   As a community we are looking forward to achieving more, grabbing opportunities, developing and making greater impact in our society under the Citizens:mk umbrella.

Josephine’s testimony

After a year of active leadership in Citizens:mk, taking on the role of student leader for the new Redways Relaunch campaign, 18-year-old Josephine Osei of MK Academy wrote:

“Before I started the Citizens:mk program, I was just like any other teenager. Who had something that they were angry about but did not have any power or motivation to create a change.  Then the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself.

“I realised that actually I could have the power to make a change and I was able to do this through leading the Redways re-launch campaign which so far has been successful and definitely part of my memorable memories.

“Through this citizens program I have learnt to be a leader, one who knows what is right and does it by collaborating with people in power.  I was once told that if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and become more, then you are a leader. And through this journey, I have seen my actions inspiring other people and as such I know that I have made an impact on someone else’s life and this has been very fulfilling for me.

“One thing that I have been able to overcome is the fear of speaking in an open crowd and I feel that through this program I have become acquainted with this skill and actually I feel unstoppable.  Now, if I want to do something, I feel empowered to do it because my self confidence has increased greatly and truthfully,

In her role as campaign leader, Josephine addressed  various audiences including 70 business people gathered at MK’s City Breakfast Club at thestadium:mk.

“I would personally recommend this role to each and every  student who know that they also want to be a part of a change.”

Pictured above, Josephine speaks directly to the Leader of the Council in front of 400 school pupils outside Marks & Spencer in the city centre.  On behalf of the pupils she asked for, and won, a pledge in MK’s 50th birthday year to make 50 improvements to the Redways.  Click here for more on that action.

What’s it like, Penny?

Penny Souster from St. Augustine’s RC Church spoke at our Delegates Assembly and Accountability Assembly in 2015.  Afterwards she said:

“My experience of speaking at the Assembly  was filled with a mixture of emotions.  I had witnessed many negative aspects of working in a care home in MK and speaking about them to a wide and varied audience was both relieving and revealing to them, I hope, and widened their scope about the kind of care they would plan for both their elderly loved ones and themselves in the future.

“The audience was very receptive to my disclosures and I was emotionally moved by their acknowledgement, affirmation and applause.

“Since then changes for the better in living wages for care workers and others are being implemented by the government which makes my very small part in bringing it about worthwhile.”