We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Ehinor Otaigbe, Founder & Executive Director of Wonderfully Made Woman, the organiser of a new dance workshop in Manchester for women.
When was Wonderfully Made Woman established and what do you do?
Wonderfully Made Woman was established 17th Dec 2011. We offer free support and counselling, training on how to build your confidence, and we conduct free domestic abuse awareness sessions.
So, what inspired the ‘Dance the Strength of a Wonderfully Made Woman’?
From my personal experience I have used dance as a means of reducing stress. Dance is therapeutic, it makes you feel good about yourself. Anytime I am unhappy I play music and before I know it, I am happy again. I noticed that most programmes for abused women are either arts & crafts or a coffee morning; many of these women have left their countries and they miss home so I felt they needed more support than what was being offered. I wanted to do something that will make them happy, make them come out of isolation, something that can make them smile each time they come for our session. Most times dance helps you find your balance and it reminds you of your femininity and gives you a chance to embrace the feminine spirit again. So dance for me, is the “Strength of a Wonderfully Made Woman”.
Who is the event for?
We work largely with black women, but these workshops are for any woman from any ethnic or social background. Anyone who has experienced or is currently experiencing abuse and would like to come and receive support, encouragement, and healing with our group is welcome.
What should people expect to see at the event?
24th of October 2015 is going to be a great day in the city of Manchester. We will be talking about what dance is, how dance can actually help reduce stress. We will be showcasing all the African dance steps we have learnt during the workshops which will be taking place between February to October. It’s going to be fun for all, men, women, and children. There will be lots of dancing, eating, and drinking. The good thing is the community event is free. There will be no dull moment on the 24th.
What do you hope to achieve from this event?
At the end of this event, we aim to have brought these women out of isolation, they would have made new friends, they would have learnt how to use dance as a means of reducing stress.
Why did you establish Wonderfully Made Woman?
Wonderfully Made Woman was established because I noticed there was really no where abused women from black minorities could go to for help, especially Nigerian women. Most of these women migrated from their country, many cannot really speak English. Wonderfully Made Woman stands as a first place of contact for those going through domestic abuse; we normally give them information about where they can get help from. It was also established to help women who have lost confidence in themselves as a result of their past experiences. Most of these women, though in the UK legally, have no recourse to public funds so when they are abused they find it difficult to meet their basic needs, therefore I decided to set this up to help them with the little help i can offer.
Is there enough support in the church and community for vulnerable women?
In my opinion, black women have little or no support from the church and the community; it is very sad. If there was support, I am sure Wonderfully Made Woman would not have been in existence. It was through my personal experience of domestic abuse that I knew we had no support so after I gained my self esteem I decided to set this organization up. I’ve found that a lot of churches would rather not speak about it. The help we have in our community is mostly for those who gets benefits, but unfortunately most of these women have no recourse to public fund, so it means they cannot get help when they are abused.
What do people need to do to get involved in the ‘Dance the Strength of a Wonderfully Made Woman’ workshops?
For any woman who is interested, they have to be able to attend the dance and costume workshop every Wednesday at 11am, but they need to call me on 07846620160 to book a place first because spaces are limited.
To learn more about Wonderfully Made Woman and the ‘Dance the Strength of a Wonderfully Made Woman’ workshops
Event Details: www.vinejuice.co.uk/dance-strength-wonderfully-made-woman
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