My name is Rianna, I run a social enterprise called Shine ALOUD UK. We use peer-led training and interactive media to change the perceptions and behaviours of young people in London. Initially, I started off as a music journalist with my own blog and freelanced for the likes of MTV The Wrap Up, Don’t Panic Online and Metro.
I loved interviewing up and coming talents for a few years, but I felt I could use my journalistic skills to empower young people to make better choices, which in turn will, create better sexual health outcomes. For example, lowering STI and HIV transmission rate, reducing underage and unplanned pregnancies as well as playing a part in educating young people how to have healthy relationships, free of violence, abuse and exploitation.
I chose to take part in this Social Entrepreneurship Exchange in Spain with London Business Partnership as I wanted to meet other entrepreneurs from across London who were in the same space me with their business as me as well as think about how I could partner with overseas organisations to address similar issues regarding sex and relationships in Spain.
Adequate SRE is a global concern, so having an insight into the way SRE education is delivered in Spain can help to inform my practice as a professional back in London. I had been on an overseas conference to Bulgaria in 2012 looking at Sustainable Development Goals, so participating in this exchange would allow me to take part in something different with a focus on social enterprise and youth entrepreneurship which is something I’m very passionate about as well as being a growing market here in the UK.
I hope that by taking part in the exchange I am able to make some valuable connections in the world of social enterprises, support people with some of the resources that I have used in the past, as well as the possibly to understand how I can replicate the same adventure elsewhere in the world, particularly in the Caribbean.
I am passionate about helping young people and knowledge that I can gain as well as share on the journey is a bonus. It is so inspiring to be a part of a network of young people who are all so committed and exciting about changing the world and it is truly a blessing to be a part of this journey now and in the future that is yet to come. Ourense, watch out, here we come!
So far my experience has been amazing!! It has been great to go into town, meet the Spanish participants as well as see how involved the Mayor or Ourense is in this project. It’s clear that he is keen to create a legacy from this exchange and I hope that our team are able to create a lasting impact that encourages others to develop overseas exchange projects across Europe and the World in the near future.
Looking at the town, it’s clear that there is a large majority of older people and it will be interesting to find out what support is given to them to help them live and navigate their way around this hilly city. I feel that Ourense could benefit from an intergenerational project to support young people and old to get to know each other a little better.
Also, I think the city would benefit from having some sort of youth media platform. In UK, there are emerging youth media platforms that are planned, designed and executed by young people, dedicated to youth topics, such as music, arts, culture, film, politics, history and more, so maybe this could exist in Spain. Something that gives young people a voice and platform but also a chance to earn a living – here they could partner with bigger organisations and receive funding or sponsorship, so they don’t have to leave the city to be heard or recognised, which seems like the case here in Ourense
Ourense is a small city full of character. The architecture is beautiful and so is the history of the city. I don’t feel I take the time out to really appreciate these things in London, so it’s great to be on a holiday with a twist, where I’m learning and sharing with others. Also, I feel that the people here are family orientated, always willing to help – despite me not being able to speak their language – and are very relaxed. This is different from London where people can come across quite rude or unfriendly and everyone is in a rush to get things done.
I’ve only been here for a few days, but I’m keen to come back and encouraged others to take the trip with me. This little city has a lot to offer.
This little city has a lot to offer.