Speaking for Ourselves

Migrant Voice and Saathi House members share stories with Birmingham Live

Migrant Voice and Saathi House members share stories with Birmingham Live

Sundus Abdi

 Migrant Voice - Migrant Voice and Saathi House members share stories with Birmingham Live


Women from the Birmingham area came together to discuss their experiences of the Commonwealth for a podcast with Birmingham Live on Tuesday morning (5 October). 

In collaboration with Migrant Voice, Saathi House invited local women from Asian communities who live in the Aston area of Birmingham to chat and enjoy food and hot drinks.

Community reporter Anisah Vasta spoke at the event, which sought to make connections with migrant women ahead of a podcast the publication is launching to mark the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

“We are interested in talking to people within Birmingham about what the Commonwealth means to them, and if they even talk about it in their daily lives,” said Vasta.

“We want to talk about things that branch off the Commonwealth, like the British Empire, which some people may have strong opinions about. I want to pick up on these themes, like the racism experienced by those coming into the UK during the 60s.”

“But I also want to focus on the positives; the aspects that migrants from Asian countries have brought with them to make the UK their home, such as the cuisine and fashion.” 

Vasta explained how Birmingham Live is looking for stories that have “strong themes of identity, such as finding your feet in a culture so foreign to you”, alongside  “anything that connects you to your home country, no matter how weird or mundane”.

At the coffee morning, the women shared stories about the difficulties of travelling to the UK and the hardships they have faced. The women also described how they learnt to speak English, the struggles of getting their children into education, and adapting to the cultural differences.

Vasta added that her own interest in getting involved with the podcast stemmed from her dad being a second-generation migrant. 

“If you're from a different background, if you speak a different language, that migrant experience is important to tell,” she said. 

If you are interested in getting involved with this project and sharing your story, you can contact Anisah on Twitter at @AnisahVasta.


Get in touch

Migrant Voice
VAI, 200a Pentonville Road,
N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity
Number: 1142963 (England and Wales); SC050970 (Scotland)

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