The masterclasses also gave the participants a chance to talk about writing, as well as performing; why they write, how they feel about writing, and why it's important to them. Hear from them:
Haymanot is from Ethiopia
When I was a kid my parents taught me some good lessons to stand by. They taught me to give respect to everyone, especially my elders, be cheerful and smile from the heart, help and support others and myself, think carefully before speaking, be honest and kind, not let friends down, love human beings and animals, be strong and not give up, not be frightened, learn new things and to be challenged, admire nature and bless the Creator, God Almighty and love myself and take strength from my faith.
Tim is from Congo (DRC)
I knew only dictatorial regimes since birth. I think nothing compares to being helpful to those around you. This is certainly an irresistible inner desire. Where you live doesn't matter.
Noah is from Uganda
I was abducted from school when I was 14 years old and taken to fight a war I knew nothing about, forced to commit evil acts against my will. I was plagued with flashbacks and sleepless nights which drove me to the brink of suicide. Then I found Freedom from Torture and thank God I did, or I wouldn't be here today.
Stephanie is from Cameroon
I am a happy, confident and optimistic woman. I have not always been like this. For many years, I lived in fear for my life. I refused myself to have dreams, to plan for the future. But with the help of people I met in Write to Life, I have learned to smile again, to enjoy writing. More importantly, I have buried the past and embrace Life with both hands because once again I have choices.
Jade is from Uganda
We were born in Northern Uganda – my twin sister, Jane, and me. My father was a head teacher and later became a Reverend of the Church of Uganda and my mother was a housewife from a rich family. I studied journalism where I met my husband and father to my three children. I went on to work as a sports reporter. I left Uganda when my life was in danger and I arrived in the UK in 2001.I am looking for a paid work and look forward to becoming a responsible working citizen again.
Steven is from Burundi
I have been motivated to re-discover the meaning of my life from the traumatic experiences of my past with the aid of Freedom from Torture, which has been my source of strength. Write to Life has inspired me to express myself, to lose shyness, share my voice, tell stories, make sense of things and gain back control of my shattered life. It is a big ear that listens from afar and gives me the relief of a family and hope for my future.