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Safe in Their Hands

The challenges of the present are obvious

Luckily the future is in safe hands

How often have you heard politicians tell voters or party members “there’s far more than unites us than divides us”?

Sometimes they mean it sometimes they don’t.

Sometimes we need to hear that message from fresh voices, particularly when their words are backed up by positive actions that are getting results.

The latest Swansea Voices event showcased the work of Jess Gallivan and Sara Madi, two young women from very different backgrounds whose projects are proving to be equally effective in changing lives for the better.

Jess Gallivan is a familiar face to users of support services in Swansea East, and in 2022 she has been an increasingly influential figure in project management. Drawing strength from her own experiences, Jess has emerged as a true community champion. As manager of the St John’s Food Resource, she’s putting meals on tables for families who need it most. As manager of the Cae Rowland Period Dignity Project, she’s helping women rise above a situation that no one should ever be in. The problem of period poverty - lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints – is becoming more acute as the cost of living crisis deepens. A recent report from the Royal College of Nursing estimated that over 137,000 children in the UK have missed school days due to period poverty. Schoolgirls can’t hope to get the most out of their education with this issue holding them back. And increasing numbers of women are facing the bleak prospect of having to choose between sanitary hygiene and regular meals. Jess Gallivan is helping to change the picture. Securing project funding has opened the door for Jess to build up stocks of sustainable and reusable products, reducing the need for single use items and helping to foster independence in women from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities. From dignity comes confidence, and from confidence comes accomplishment. Jess Gallivan is improving lives, every day.

Sara Madi’s passion for education has been encouraged constantly by her family, who have settled in Swansea after leaving their native Lebanon. Sara wants other young women to have that same encouragement, and as a volunteer with Swansea’s African Community Centre she is a leading figure in the ”Women Breaking Barriers” initiative. Her work speaks not only to women of African origins, but to all women in this country. The gender pay gap remains an injustice, with the average hourly pay rate of women in this country lagging 19.2% behind the average rate for men. At Swansea Voices, Sara spoke eloquently of the factors that can hold women back from academic and career success, and equally eloquently of the support that can help them flourish. Sara’s own determination to advance her education and to pursue a career in which she can give something back to the community has established her as an ideal role model for women seeking inspiration.

Thank you, Sara and Jess. The future is safe in your hands.


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