Amplify NI's Becca Bor reflects on 'Connections, Courage and Unsung Heroes': a storytelling event in Derry/Londonderry.

“Disturbingly powerful, yet massively reflective. I’m really glad I came.”

In many ways, I did not know what to expect. I have been meeting incredible people doing amazing work in Derry as part of the Amplify NI project – each with such a distinct story, a unique experience, but a common drive to make the world better, to make a difference. They are volunteering untold hours to make their communities better. They are creating new organisations, movements, companies, charities and projects. As the Amplify NI outreach worker in Derry, I organised a storytelling event so that members of the community could hear the stories and share in the experiences of their fellow change-makers.

“Funny to empowering to really heart-breaking, but all positive outlooks. People trying to use what has happened to them to try to help others.”

Five people agreed to participate, to open themselves up for us to hear their stories of courage, aspirations and inspiration. Stories of hardship, interests, passion, curiosity, perseverance, struggle and hope – and their commitment and resolve to be change-makers. I don’t think I could have picked a more diverse group. We had a kickboxer, a poet, a gamer, a volunteer at an LGBT organisation, and a person impacted by domestic abuse. But, as we heard, each of these individuals are so much more than those labels – tied together by some shared experiences, some diverse experiences, by a desire to make Derry better, to improve the lives of a few individuals, our society, the world.

“Very emotional, hardly a dry eye tonight!”

As we listened, we laughed and cried. The energy was electric. Numbers were exchanged, connections made, the support was palpable. I left the event somewhat changed. Knowing that if we keep building networks of solidarity, where we hold each other up, support each other, and don’t take no for an answer, we can create a better, safer, more equal, and more enjoyable world to live in.

“The main thing anyone needs for change is support.”

Watch this space to read about each of the participants in the storytelling event and join AmplifyNI to get involved in future ones. Every day we meet people who are dedicated and passionate about improving the world in which we live.

 

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