On Wednesday 21st October, Forward Thinking facilitated a Pathways into Politics workshop with Mai Khidir. Pathways into Politics is a programme that aims to develop the ambition of young Muslims to engage with politics and their ability to do so.

Mai Khidir is founder and director of Al Sudaniya Mentoring (ASM), an initiative that was established in 2013 to empower, engage, and inspire young Sudanese women to develop their personal and professional skills to become leaders of the future.

Mai explained to participants her journey to set up ASM, after originally pursing a career in pharmacology. As a British Sudanese woman who was born in Sudan and had grown up in London, she had always wanted to give back to Sudan. As a result of Mai’s participation in the Milead fellowship run by the Moremi initiative, she decided to set up this organisation to give back to her community.

Participants were excited to hear from someone who could speak to a diaspora experience, which many of them related to. They were also interested to hear about the challenges faced by Sudanese women in pursuing particular careers, and how the mentorship programme offered by ASM helps them to overcome these. Mai also provided some practical tips to the participants for public speaking, networking and confidence.

This workshop forms the last formal session in our series of online workshops to further develop the skills of the Pathways into Politics participants. We will shortly hold a review session to evaluate the impact of the programme so far and to explore ways to continue engaging with the participants. We will also be shortly launching applications for a new cohort for the programme.