We recently had an inspiring Most Significant Change (MSC) session with our Lutadoras to explore the impact of our the Your Best Friend (YBF) project.

The #FriendsCanTell campaign brings together our all-female and non-binary personal development group to raise awareness of red flags and de-normalise controlling behaviours in young people’s relationships.

The MSC session was an opportunity to delve into some of the tools the group have taken away from the monthly #FriendsCanTell workshops, and better understand the impact the project has had on the lives of our Lutadoras.

After the group’s afternoon of reflections we caught up with Nicole, Volunteer Youth Worker at Fight for Peace, and leader of the YBF monthly sessions to find out her perspective on some of the learnings and accomplishments since starting the project:

“I would say the purpose of the MSC session would be reflection. The reason I say reflection is because you go back in time by a year and look at the changes that have happened, the improvements, your growth, and also what’s helped you grow. It’s also a way to help you keep going, knowing what you’ve been able to do to keep moving and keep improving yourself. Sometimes everyone needs a reminder, a good reminder from where they were and where they are now. 

Some of the significant changes I’ve seen and heard is that a lot of the group lack confidence and self esteem. Throughout the year it’s slowly showing and some of them are booming and some of them still need a lot of work but most of them, the level they are at you’d think wow, well done! And I think being able to identify their blockers, what’s blocking them from improving or what’s actually working for them is amazing to see as well. 

Some of the Lutadoras sharing their journeys so far

I’m proud to see how involved all the girls are, the majority of them when they are involved are very vocal. I’m proud to see how lots of them even want to help, like before last week’s Lutadoras session one of the young people messaged me to ask if there was anything they could do to help me prepare. They’re very hands on and they like to help. 

Nicole (right) and fellow Lutadoras, Vicky (left) delivering a monthly YBF workshop

A proud moment is when I hear them say ‘I wanna be a youth worker’, or ‘I wanna grow the way you’ve grown, Nicole and start working at Fight for Peace one day’. It’s like wow, okay – I do have an impact on the girls you know. It’s really nice to see how they’re actually excited to see the other girls and how they’re forming their little groups.

My biggest takeaway would be anything can be a blocker, but also anything can impact your way of life. So anything can block you from growing and being the person you want to be but if you don’t take that first step to becoming great you’ll get stuck. I think that’s one example for myself as well I always like [to go back to].

Fight for Peace Mentoring Lead, Maria supporting the Lutadoras in reflective exercises

Even yesterday I was talking to Leo (Fight for Peace Personal Development Manager) and he told me, ‘Nicole, you are in such a different dimension from when you started to now. You’re actually a professional now and doing what you need to do.’ 

There’s a time and a place for everything…there’s actually a time and a place for everything and if you’re not mentally there or emotionally there you can’t progress – you’ll be forcing it and forcing it and forcing it. If your mind and body are not in one place, you’re going to be stuck there.

I feel like my biggest takeaway is if your mind and your body are not on one accord, you will be stuck and if you’re not willing to change or see, ‘you know what I need help’, it’s not gonna change. Asking for help is never a bad thing.”

Lutadoras is our all-female personal development group where women and girls and those who identify as non-binary come together to share views, experiences and opinions in an open and non-judgemental space. These sessions are combined with our female-only sports sessions, every Thursday from 5pm.

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