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  • Writer's pictureFotis Filippou

Community voices: Leading and shaping refugee narratives

As part of our series of community calls, members of the Taking the Lead network come together regularly to learn from the experiences and expertise of one another.

For our call in May 2023, we were very lucky to have Jean Marie Ishimwe kicking off the conversation and sharing their experiences of centering the voice, experience and expertise of refugees and the importance of addressing the systemic challenges refugees face.

Jean Marie Ishimwe is a 4th Year DAFI Scholar pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism & Media Studies at University of Nairobi. He is the current Partnerships & Advocacy Lead of Youth Voices Community (YVC) a refugee led organization (RLO) in Kenya, that seeks to amplify & advocate for inclusive policies that promote refugee self reliance & inclusion in Kenya. As a refugee advocate, Jean Marie Ishimwe is a strong proponent of promoting the meaningful engagement, inclusion and empowerment of refugees and youths. He firmly believes that they should have a central role in driving solutions to address the challenges they face, and as well champions for their voices to be heard and for them to be given the agency to take the lead in contributing to positive change. Jean Marie spoke at Taking the Lead's community call in May 2023.

You can watch Jean Marie's powerful intervention below.

The Taking the Lead community calls are being hosted by MobLab Collective's Emma You Biermann. Emma's mother was herself a refugee from Cambodia who fled to the UK in the 1970s as a result of US bombings on her country. Emma is a transformational trainer, facilitator, strategist and physical movement practitioner, working for trauma informed systems change.

During the call, interpretation was provided by Na Takallam.


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