Girls against domestic violence

By Rachel Ogunbayo

I decided to do Envision because I wanted something for my CV, but I ended up getting way more out of it than that. 
 

(Rachel's team - Rachel is pictured third from left)
 

If I had to pick a word for it, I’d say ‘enlightening’. I think it’s made me more aware of not just myself, but everything, if that makes sense.

My team decided to focus on domestic violence. It’s an issue that affects lots of females, and as we’re all girls, it really hit home for us.

When we were going through different issues at the first corporate mentoring session, we met some girls from a different part of London, and they were saying they really cared about domestic violence too.

I think that seeing that it was important to lots of people was what spurred us on and made us go ‘yeah, this is what we want to do.’

We decided to make a domestic violence website for young people. We did this because we wanted to create something that would always be there. 

We thought that if we put on an event, people might forget about it after. We didn’t want the issue to ever get forgotten.

We’d found that lots of domestic violence websites are mostly information and advice, and we wanted to do something a bit more creative and visual for younger people. We wanted to keep the same message, but show it a bit differently, so we put poems and pictures and animations up there – things like that.

We divided the team up so that the more creative people made all the stuff we uploaded, and the more technical people looked after the IT side of things. I was one of the more creative members.  I wrote scripts for a short film we did, and learnt how to create animations too. 

People said that the stuff I put together was really powerful, and it felt amazing that it was making people really listen to our message.

I’d never done any of those things before, and it’s given me loads of confidence.

 

That’s the thing about Envision – it brings out talents you didn’t know you had. 

One of my friends wasn’t that bothered at the beginning, and she even told us she probably wouldn’t do very much. But she ended up doing loads and did really well at getting people to follow us on our Twitter page. She realised her potential, and I think that because I worked really hard to motivate her, I realised my potential as a leader too.

Leadership was definitely the skill I developed the most. I used to always be the one being led but I found myself doing more and more, and wanting to get other people doing more too. I got stuff done, and I liked leading by example that way. 

I think it’s because I really believed in what we were doing.

I’d become aware of the fact that there’s more than just me in the world and I wanted the project to go as far as it could.

And we were part of something really big! I looked up domestic violence on YouTube and came across a woman in America who did a TED talk about it. I decided to email her about what we were doing, and she replied saying that she thought our cause was really great. We were connected by caring about the same thing, even though we were so far away. I felt like I belonged to some kind of global movement, and that was really empowering.

I’ve just entered myself to be School President next year. I wouldn’t have done that before, but Envision has helped me see myself as a leader.

I think it’s really just a matter of finding and using your talents, and helping other people do that too.

Envision has made me realise that I can do anything I put my mind to.