The Neighborhood Storyteller film sets an inspiring example of the magic that happens after a woman in a vulnerable situation gains agency. Asmaa, a Syrian refugee raised in a patriarchal society, took the We Love Reading training 9 years ago in Zaatari refugee camp. At the training she gained trust and agency to lead reading-aloud circles for fun in her neighborhood. It was at that moment and through her community actions when Asmaa’s empowerment and healing journey began. She rapidly evolved into a community leader using reading-aloud for fun to children as a bridge to tackle social issues close to her heart. The Neighborhood Storyteller documents Asmaa’s latest read-aloud project focused on creating a safe space for adolescent girls to discover themselves, nurture their sense of self-worth, and understand their ability to determine their own choices. Through an impact campaign, the film is being used to unleash the potential of women and girls in vulnerable situations around the world.
The session will be a panel discussion or Q&A that will touch on: (1) The agency approach; (2) Fomenting agency through reading-aloud (3) Agency, trust & community actions increase self-growth/self-confidence/belonging/and mental health; (4) Leader identity and relational importance; (5) The film’s impact journey and goals.