Na Yang, known as ‘Nana,’ works for London Huayu, a charity working tirelessly to promote equal opportunities and good race relations between racial groups. Originally from China, Nana, has been in the UK for 6 years. Even as a student, she volunteered at London Huayu as this is a charity she really believes in. After graduation, she was fortunate enough to be able to continue her work at London Huayu and is now actively working on a project funded by the Trust For London as an Outreach Worker. Her primary role is to help London Huayu reach out to new audiences, particularly migrant workers, and help bring about positive change to their lives.
Nana found that this country has a large number of migrants who contribute positively to the community together but who, by and large, live in metaphorical silence. These are people with their own unique thoughts and exceptional stories who lack a platform from which to make their voices heard. The fact that migrants’ voices are so often under-represented contributes to the misunderstandings and sometimes prejudices which exists in some parts of the mainstream media. London Huayu’s outreach project aims to help remedy the situation by trying to provide a stage for the voiceless.
To meet its aims, the project recruits volunteers from the migrant communities and offers activities, including a series of training and guidance on recording, editing and producing a radio programme. Participants will be sharing their stories for the world to listen and to judge them on their own merits. The radio training will be provided by Nana who has a number of years’ experience in the radio industry as a radio DJ and producer. Having worked on this project for a few months now, Nana has faced a number of obstacles in trying to realise the aims of the project, the one main difficulty being convincing people to willingly open the door to their souls and to share their stories with society. Having lived in silence for years, it can be difficult to trust and open up to the world on a public forum. The participants also often have to work hard to sustain themselves and their families, and hence find it difficult to have the time to engage and stay on the project to fruition. Nevertheless, with perseverance and hard work, a number of volunteers have managed to successfully record and broadcast their stories.
It has been an interesting journey with many challenges and even more rewards but it is by no means the end of the story, as Nana is constantly on the lookout for more volunteers who wish to find their voices. There are no prerequisites to join the project. If you believe you can contribute to the project or know of someone who might want to take part, contact Nana at: [email protected] By Calvin Tan