“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken winged bird, that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes

Little Amal is getting closer to Oxford and on her journey from Syria to the UK this 3.5 metre puppet of a 9 year old refugee girl is bringing hope and happiness to all she meets on her journey. Little Amal has inspired the “Beyond Amal Project”, a story guide training initiative which has been developed in partnership, by The Story Museum and Asylum Welcome.

On 7th October we held our second information session to introduce participants to the programme which aims to deliver story guide skills and develop employment opportunities. It was a pleasure to welcome the Women’s Group from Refugee Resource and members from Connection Support who came along to The Story Museum to learn more about the Story Guide Training Programme. We toured the Museum, explored the spaces, learned more about the importance of storytelling and the experiential elements of bringing a story to life.

We discussed how stories help us develop knowledge and an understanding of each other, stories allow us to explore different worlds and most importantly stories allow us to have dreams. And as one of the participants said, “stories are part of our memories and give us hope”.

On her journey Little Amal is carrying with her a bag of her memories and what drives her forward is the belief that she is walking towards a better life, she has hope, she has dreams and she has memories.

We all have hope and every participant at the Asylum Welcome and Story Museum information session embodied that hope by embracing new opportunities and demonstrating their motivation and enthusiasm to develop their skills and contribute to a wider community.

The Story Guide Training Programme, through a series of three skills-based workshops is providing the opportunity for individuals to develop a deeper knowledge of
Storytelling and the skills to become a Story Guide.

If you are interested in joining us, the workshops will be taking place at the Story Museum, Pembroke St, Oxford on 14th/15th October and 5th November from 10am to 1pm. Once participants have completed the workshops there will be an opportunity to apply the skills learned by supporting a school visit to the Museum and being part of Little Amal’s visit to Oxford on 26th October.

Spaces are filling fast but if you are interested please contact jan@asylum-welcome.org or Jumana.hokan@storymuseum.org.uk to find our more and sign up.

“Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops at all”

Emily Dickinson