Updated: Mar 20, 2019
For our International Women’s Day lunch on Friday 8 March we will be hearing from Karin Joseph of the Amos Trust on how the dedication and resilience of women around the world is helping young homeless girls to build better lives.
The Amos Trust is a small creative human rights organisation. One of its key areas of work is to transform the lives of girls and young women on the streets, so they can live free from abuse. The organisation works with teams of local women in places as diverse as South Africa, Tanzania, Burundi, India, Egypt, Mexico, Kenya and the US and UK.
Learn about the On Her Terms campaign
Karin Joseph leads the On Her Terms campaign at Amos Trust. Karin has worked for eight years with children and young people experiencing homelessness in the UK and worldwide. She’s been involved in high profile campaigns around the rights of homeless children during events such as the World Cup and Olympics. She first studied history at Oxford and then took an MA in Participation, Power and Social Change. Karin leads Amos Trust’s work with girls and young women, under their On Her Terms campaign, which journeys with girls on the streets (in Burundi, Tanzania, South Africa and India among others) and the women workers who support them, challenging the daily injustices they experience.“These are women who go into abandoned buildings, navigating past sometimes abusive boyfriends, pimps and brothel owners to reach girls to help them realise their rights, identify what they want and how they want to transform their lives,” Karin explains. “These women are the experts and need to share their skills and expertise with other workers around the world in how working to help a girl on the streets, 'on her terms', can be most effective.”
At Think Women, Relocate Global’s working lunch for International Women’s Day, Karin spoke about her experience of how the skills of resilience, active listening, and support can make a difference in people’s lives. “Sometimes in the workplace there can be an atmosphere of competition between women,” she says. “That’s a symptom of the fact that there is not enough space for women to fell free to support each other and collaborate together.”In her experience, a collaborative way of working is more productive and more successful.
Similarities between women working in the UK and in Africa
“For women living and working in the UK, they may not at first sight think that they have much in common with a girl living on the streets in Africa,” she says. “In fact, the struggles that these girls and the women who help them are facing, are very similar to the struggles that women face in developed countries. For example, women in Egypt face the experience of not being as valued as men. In the West, the discrimination is more subtle, but it is still there. I want to show how we are all connected and that all women are part of a bigger, global picture.”Karin will also challenge the cultural attitude that leadership needs to be singular and lonely.“When I have tried to do things alone I have found it difficult. It’s important to find other people with complementary skills who can help you and do the things that you are not good at. Collaboration and support are key and enable women, particularly those doing work that involves caring, or which is emotionally challenging or draining, in order to have a support network and prevent burnout.”