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Advocacy -Spoon Lapel Badges : raising awareness of Forced Marriage


This film showcases the work of the Charity of Karma Nirvana in partnership of SI Bilston & District breaking the silence on Forced Marriage and Honour Violence in the United Kingdom. ‘The Story of the Spoon’ DVD was first shown at Federation Conference in Malta 2016 and is now available here and on You Tube.

Film Production.

Members produced, as a basis, a Story Board and script illustrating the journey of the ‘Spoon’. This was developed by Tim Sargent at Mint Video. Then a day of filming was set up with Bilston members, Jasvinder Sanghera and Tim. This day was followed by editing and fine tuning of the elements until we were happy with the result.

Exhausted film stars!


Two Bilston members were invited to attend the launch of a Day of Memory to honour those girls murdered in dishonorable killings. The event was organised by Karma Nirvana and Cosmopolitan Magazine. The date marks the birthday of Shafilea Ahmed who sadly lost her life at the hands of her parents at the age of 17. The day,which has cross Governmental support was chosen because it is the birthday of Shafilea. Louise Court, Editor in Chief Cosmopolitan chaired the day and speakers included.Baroness Cox of Queensbury, Karen Bradley MP Minister for Modern Slavery & Organised Crime at the Home Office, Scotland Yard’s Commander Mak Chisty , Superintendent Geraint Jones ( Cheshire Police), Janice Kovach (Mayor of Clinton New Jersey) and Emily Dyer from Henry Jackson Society.

The day brought together survivors that had experienced honour based abuse and forced marriage. Some of them bravely shared their personal experiences for the first time to raise awareness and showcase that you can survive. Jasvinder Sanghera CEO of Karma Nirvana facilitated their conversations with key themes. There were many tearful moments.

Jasvinder Sanghera CEO Karma Nirvana
Some of the victims who were murdered.

Metal spoons -freedom for all women & girls.

Karma Nirvana has advised girls who are at risk of being forced into marriage outside the UK to place a metal spoon in their underwear so that the airport scanner will sound and the girl will be taken aside hopefully to the safety of border agency. To emphasise this, miniature spoon lapel badges have been produced and were on sale during the Day of Memory. This has already created a talking point. Bilston members have all bought lapel spoon badges raising awareness wherever they travel. The initiative was announced at the SIGBI Glasgow Conference and many Soroptimists bought the lapel spoons. Bilston club is selling the lapel spoons on behalf of Karma Nirvana at the cost of £2. All monies are sent to support the Karma Nirvana Helpline. Anyone interested should get in contact with club Programme Action Officers.

Two spoons with a £1 coin.

Bilston Members continue to raise awareness of Forced Marriage by selling lapel spoon badges. We have reached other Soroptimist Clubs, the WI, Inner Wheel and the Rotary District Governor

SI Director of Advocacy Pat Black has taken 220 lapel spoon badges to United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, March 2016. The word is spreading!

Forced Marriage Conference Saturday 19th March 2016

BIlston PA Officers Jackie, Joan & Sue attended this day’s conference supported by Karma NIrvana, Forced Marriage Unit, West Midlands Police, Muslim Women’s Network and other faith groups. Jasvinder Sanghera was the opening speaker and set the scene for the day. As always her talk was powerful and inspirational.

Ark St Alban’s Academy Highgate Birmingham organised the conference and much help was given by staff and students of the Academy. It was an excellent, informative day at which we were able to network, sell Karma Nirvana Lapel Spoon Badges.and promote Soroptimism.

PA Officers Sue,Jackie,Joan with Jasvinder

News from United Nations. International Director of Advocacy for Soroptimist International, Pat Black, seen here being filmed for an American film on Human Trafficking during which she was able to speak about the Spoon Campaign, holding Karma Nirvana poster -‘When Is a Spoon not just a spoon? -When it saves a life’ ‘End Forced Marriage’. Pat was able to distribute a number of spoons to delegates at the CSW. We are delighted that she is now taking Spoons to the Joint Scottish Conference and the Joint Irish Conference. Thank you Pat, Karma Nirvana and Bilston Soroptimists are very grateful to you for your excellent support.

Advocacy and Action.
Pat BLack being filmed at CSW in New York.