On the 27th January Universal Peace Federation (UPF) UK members and first-timers alike joined together for a consultation on the exciting new Migrant Leaders programme. Spearheaded by Elham Fardad, Migrant Leaders is a mentoring initiative that seeks to provide substantial support to young migrants with the ambition to succeed in their future career and life in the UK.
Herself a migrant to the UK from Iran, Mrs Fardad knows very well the many obstacles that stand in the way of young migrants who try to integrate into a new society and culture, seeking to build successful careers and give something meaningful back to society. Through Migrant Leaders she wishes to equip young people who find themselves in similar situations to break through the many barriers they face.
Saturday’s event was an opportunity for both the public and supporters of the initiative to give input for the website, which will be published in the coming weeks, with regards to its design and features.
The event began with a warm welcome by UPF directors Margaret Ali and Robin Marsh followed by an overview from Mrs Fardad on the general aims of the programme and the areas of discussion for the day.
Next, Mary Keightley, an established leadership coach, spoke from her extensive experience on the importance of resilience in leadership. She challenged us to shift our mentality away from “Me, Everything, Always” and away from victim mentality to a new life of personal responsibility and fulfilment. After this, Matteo Bergamini and his girlfriend Sabina shared their experiences with mental health, and their vision for a programme to support young people suffering with mental health issues. We were deeply moved by their sincerity and resilience to turn a difficult experience around and make a positive impact on society out of adversity.
After the talks we enjoyed a buffet lunch and had the opportunity to share our personal experiences amongst ourselves. We ended the day in high spirits, inspired by the message and excited for the development of the Migrant Leaders initiative.