“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.
- Nelson Mandela
Figen’s aim is to help educate young people as well as young adults about the dangers of terrorism and its devastating effect on families. She draws on her own experience and discusses how individuals in educational settings and communities can do more to build resilience and work more closely together. Through her work, she advocates for greater kindness and tolerance that she believes is the antidote to hate.
For useful information and guidance about radicalisation, please visit https://actearly.uk.
Counter Terrorism Policing UK has also made a short video, "Staying Safe Online - Radicalisation".
What does this involve?
Figen's workshops start by telling the story of what happened to her and her family. She then focusses her attention on the audience and explores with them values such as kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, inclusion and unity within communities. Figen believes that young people are the answer to a better, more peaceful world as they are the adults and decision makers of the future, but more importantly, they can pass these values on to their own children and generations thereafter. She believes that nobody should fear difference, and instead should embrace it as an enrichment to their own world concept.
She also educates young people about the dangers of online radicalisation, explains how to recognise signs of radicalisation within themselves or others and gives practical tips on what to do if someone is in danger of being radicalised. Quite often the response from this is shockingly high, and many pupils admit to being exposed to this on the internet from a young age.
Her workshop takes around 60 minutes and includes a Q&A session at the end where teachers are also encouraged to participate. These workshops are suitable for secondary school age upwards, and can be done back to back for different groups in any capacity, from small classes to large assemblies. To date, Figen has spoken to in excess of 25,000 young people across the UK.
Whilst Figen's sessions are free of charge, please note that travel expenses (train fares, taxis and, if necessary, accommodation) are to be covered.
For availability, visit the contact page.
"I have been privileged enough to work with Figen for the past three years. Figen has visited our college to inform our students on radicalisation, terrorism, forgiveness and kindness. Figen has been an inspiration for our young people, giving them the confidence to speak up and develop their knowledge on the dangers and signs of radicalisation.
Students and staff that have been in Figen's talks have been so inspired and strengthened by her words of kindness, love and forgiveness, despite the struggles she has faced, and continues to face.
Figen is a hugely positive influence on our young people, promoting peace and forgiveness. Our students leave Figen's talks feeling encouraged to spread kindness, and practise forgiveness.
Staff leave Figen's talk with the confidence that their students have the knowledge to further safeguard their own lives."
Teacher of Humanities, Denton Community College
"We have been fortunate to have Figen visit our high school on numerous occasions working with Year 7-11 in different capacities.
Figen brings a unique perspective that people can only read about in books and her work with students is both meaningful and memorable.
Figen has delivered whole year group assemblies to over 300 students at a time and each time, students have responded with empathy and kindness and have been in awe of her strength and positivity. Figen has also worked with small groups working on community, togetherness and compassion.
We whole heartedly appreciate the work Figen does and cannot stress how important is, particularly in the society we find ourselves in."
Assistant Head Teacher, Charlton High School