May 14, 2021
We all have ways to manage difficult times - sometimes we go for walks, or call a friend, or like Flora*, we draw. This Mental Health Awareness week, we spoke to Flora, an LRMN champion, about her journey into art.
“My love for drawing started from my childhood. But no one really appreciated it, and I was pushed to do something that will help me make a living,” Flora explained to us over the phone.
“While I studied finance at university, I stopped drawing altogether and tried to keep up with a very difficult course. For over 10 years, drawing was completely absent from my life.”
Flora came to the UK over two years ago under different circumstances. She joined our women’s group and soon enrolled into our Champions programme.
Champions are trained to end violence against women and girls by raising awareness in their communities, supporting women going through a difficult time, and teaching each other new skills.
“In the last few months, I started drawing again. It was something I did to get through really depressed periods,” Flora said.
“I am really competitive with myself. For a long time, I drew buildings and dolls in black and white but lately, I have been looking at Pinterest and saw pictures of fruit and decided to try to draw these, with colour for a change,” added Flora.
Flora showed her drawings to Elsa, our group leader, and she got really excited. Elsa asked Flora to teach drawing to the children of our women’s group and she took it on.
“I decided it was time to work on myself and do something just for me. Drawing is one of the few things I have at the moment. Helps me feel me.
“It’s still difficult sometimes, I can hear words in my head telling me it’s fruitless and that I am doing nothing.
But I try to cancel this out and go with my heart instead.”
We are so pleased to have Flora in our group, who has helped so many women through her drawing and her championship of women’s rights.
*Names have been changed to protect our client’s identity.