Slough residents become champions against violence and oppression

Jeena ChampionsResidents in Slough are celebrating 16 local people who have become champions in the fight against domestic abuse, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and human trafficking.

Having taken part in a series of workshops run by charity Jeena, the 16 ‘Jeena Champions’ will work with local people to identify areas of concern affecting the Slough community, proactively prevent further incidents, provide safeguarding and aid social cohesion.

Jas Kalsi, who graduated as a Jeena Champion this week, said: “As a Jeena advocate I will be helping more women and other groups I work with to access training and support around domestic abuse and other issues. The great thing about Jeena is how well they work with so many different and diverse groups in the community and get people communicating and networking.”

Thames Valley Housing funded the Jeena Champions pilot project through its Community Chest scheme, which provides grant funding to initiatives that build neighbourhoods, celebrate heritage and culture and bring about positive change in the community.

Speaking at the Jeena Awards Ceremony in Slough on Tuesday, CEO of Thames Valley Housing Geeta Nanda said: “We are delighted to have been able to invest in such an important and proactive project that helps people in Slough to raise concerns over unacceptable social norms.

“We manage almost 400 socially rented homes in this area, and the safety of our residents is vital. We’re proud to be encouraging our residents to be empowered and make a difference in their communities.”

Jeena will monitor the success of the Slough programme and aims to secure funding for the programme to be rolled out nationally.

Rani Bilkhu, founder of Jeena, commented: “We’re very proud of the Jeena Champions, the skills and knowledge they have gained from this project and their commitment to step up and support their neighbours, friends and families. By gaining insight into issues affecting their area and educating people about them, we believe the Jeena Champions can help the community take positive steps towards an abuse-free future.”

The Jeena Champions’ graduation took place 3 days before the launch of the UN Women’s ‘16 days of activism’ campaign, which encourages people to take action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

-ENDS-

Editors notes

If you would like more information about Thames Valley Housing, please contact Catherine Jessup, Communications and Training Assistant, on 020 8607 0654 or email her: catherine_jessup@tvha.co.uk

You can also find out more about TVH by going to www.tvha.co.uk

Follow TVH on Twitter @ThamesValleyHA

About Thames Valley Housing Association

Thames Valley Housing is based in Twickenham, West London and delivers housing for a wide range of people. Founded in 1966, the association manages and administers over 15,000 properties in London, Middlesex, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire and Sussex. Thames Valley Housing aims to meet the aspirations of all our customers and residents, helping them to get the home they want or need at the outset, providing further opportunities to move or buy later should they wish. It provides affordable rented homes, shared ownership, and key worker accommodation, including the staff accommodation for eight NHS Trusts.

In order to generate a profit to help fund our social purpose, we also have a market rent business called Fizzy Living; and a joint venture to build housing for sale, called Opal.

About Jeena

You can find out more about Jeena at jeena.org.uk and follow them on Twitter @jeenawomen

Or contact Rani Bilkhu on 07958603541 or at smile@jeena.org.uk

Jeena is a charity that strives to help liberate and educate communities from all forms of abuse. We focus on ‘Cultural Abuse’ and / or ‘Cultural Harmful Practises’   such as Child Exploitation, Forced Marriages, Domestic Violence, FGM, Gender Inequality, Human Trafficking, Honour Based Violence, Hate Crime, Radicalisation, Sex-Selection Abortions and Witchcraft (JuJu/Jadu Toona).

Jeena recognises and understands that some victims normalise their Cultural Abuse and Cultural Harmful Practises which may lead to isolation and low self-worth, further impacting on their social, economic, physical and mental wellbeing.

At Jeena we are on a mission to challenge misinterpreted teachings of culture, traditions & religious ideologies. Collectively, we work to uncover hidden taboos, whilst raising questions against activities which are perhaps considered normalised practices. Our core aim is and will always be to support and prevent the exploitation of the vulnerable.

Our aim is to empower women, men, young people and communities – predominantly those belonging to Black, Asian Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) societies. We work one-to-one with victims, provide referral to support services, provide empowering workshops and mentoring programs. We also deliver specialised BAMER mandatory training and consultancy in line with Safeguarding and legislation to various organisations, social workers, teachers, police and medical professionals

Jeena believes that by enabling one another to engage with diverse communities such as, education, healthcare, police and social services regardless of cultural background still maintaining individual cultural identity will have a positive outcome for the individual, family and society.

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