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Quick biogs of our Cultural Champions  
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I am Muslim. I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue higher studies. Whilst doing my PhD research in intercultural communication, I realized the importance of promoting my own culture as well as learning about others cultures. Hence, I had the honour to join Devon Development Education and get professional training to become a Cultural Champion. A cultural champion is a Devon resident from another cultural who visit schools to share their own personal stories, culture and religion with students and others. I have excessive passion to spread the message of peace, love, respect and unity amongst people through highlighting the beauty & strength of diversity.

Remember: ‘A lot of different flowers make a bouquet’ ~ Muslim quote

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I had been a private tutor, teacher and Student Councilor in the HK Govt before I came to UK and started my family here over 25 years ago.

As a Cultural Champion, I would like to promote diversity and inclusion in the local schools by introducing personally to the students, Chinese Culture. I can offer sessions in Chinese Language, Chinese Cuisine, Chinese Medicine, Chinese Festivals... I am really looking forward to help shaping the younger generations minds to a wider World of different cultures.

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I am from Cordoba, Andalusia (Spain). I have a Degree in Drama and Social Work and I had the opportunity to worked as a Social Worker with children and teens in Spain before I moved to the UK in 2012. I also have some experience of working as a Drama Teacher and Drama Director. Some of my drama training comes from the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ and physical theatre. These two branches have allowed me to get very important educational and personal tools to work with and offer to others.

Becoming a Cultural Champion has show me how important it is to be connected with your own culture but also to feel proud, to show and share with the rest of our local community with the purpose of find similarities or just learn about different cultures. Some of my work as Cultural Champion can offer you traditional dancing called ‘Sevillanas,’ story telling, songs and music, Spanish cooking, language learning and celebrating festivals such as ‘Spanish Easter Festival’ with it’s region specific rituals.

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Namaste!  My name is Avtar - I was born in India and raised in London.  My love of Indian music and dance began as I grew up listening to Bhangra music legends and watching iconic Bollywood films in the Hindi language (from colourful happy sing-a-longs to tragic melodramas).  

Moving to the south west of England I began running Indian dance and education sessions to keep me in touch with my roots and India’s rich cultural heritage.  

I have had a varied career, training firstly as an accountant and latterly working in the NHS, social care and as a teaching assistant.  I have a Montessori teaching qualification. 

As a cultural champion I can offer sessions about different aspects of Indian life – music, dance, festivals, food, language, religion and costume.  These can be tailored to meet the needs of individual schools and promote understanding of diversity and cohesion. 

I bring to my workshops a dressing up box and artefacts, including Indian drums (the dhol) to ensure sessions are interactive, sensory, educational and fun.

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I am a culturally identified, spiritual Reform Jew, with a fascination for and love of my religion's stories, ritual, wisdom, history and culture(s) particularly music. I am second-generation English with grandparents who were refugees from Russia and Poland. I have a degree in music and have performed Jewish song in Yiddish, Hebrew and Ladino for some years.

I am passionate about cross-cultural work in particular between the Jewish and Muslim communities and have set up The Devon Muslim and Jewish Friendship Group. I also work for CAP UK, (the Child Assault Prevention project UK) presenting empowering, interactive workshops with primary age children aimed at reducing their vulnerability to child abuse.

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I am a Muslim Arab Egyptian. I have over 13 years experience as an Arabic language teacher. I have 3 years experience working with children with learning difficulties in years 1, 2 and 3. I have been working as a bilingual support teacher for over three years specialising in Arabic language (based in Devon).

As a Cultural Champion I work with children in different age groups in primary and secondary schools and teach them about the religion of Islam, Arabic culture and Arabic language, Ancient and modern Egypt.

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I am a qualified and experienced Italian teacher and private tutor, and very much enjoy sharing my knowledge with people interested in my home country. My MA in Applied Translations, gained at Exeter University in 2008, has allowed me to develop my interest in linguistics and in cultural mediation.

In order to promote my own culture of origin, I have been trained by Devon Development Education as a Cultural Champion. I therefore share my experience as a foreigner in Devon in schools and other institutions and groups, telling my stories and teaching about my cultural background and historical connections between Italy and England, with particular focus on language, food, and history, especially Roman. I am passionate about cooking, especially bread and pizza making. My best presentations as a Cultural Champion in schools are those that include food making with the children.

I have also prepared some sessions on the influence of Latin in the English language. Through discovering the routes from Rome to England, dressing up as Romans and learning the origins of some English words, the children learn how their cultural origins are varied and mixed from a very long time!

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I am a second generation British Indian offering teaching in subjects related to India, Hinduism, Citizenship, Racism and Diversity. I am also a qualified Shiatsu practitioner and trained psychotherapist and can bring in subjects related to these in schools, such as group-building skills, massage, health & well-being, managing emotions, Zen Buddhism and meditation.

Read more ... Ricky is Black British, with Guyanese heritage. He has lived in Devon almost all his life, and is used to being in a minority. He has worked with the Police force and Exeter Community Initiatives, and now does training for the Prison Service.

Read more ...As a white British Cultural Champion I aim to help students to understand and celebrate British culture in all its aspects. We can explore British, English and Devon culture through stories, games, songs and crafts, and by bringing in history and literature. I can also share my personal and family history. Remember: it's OK to be white and it's OK to be British.

Read more ...An experienced scientist, sports coach and science teacher. I am a black, Bristol-born male of Jamaican heritage, with a cultural insight on subjects such as immigration, slavery and diversity. I also have personal knowledge of what it is like to be Afro-Caribbean growing up and living in the South West.

Read more ...I am from China and lived there for 25 years. As a Cultural Champion I can talk about Chinese language and culture. My interest and background are in cooking Chinese food.

Read more ...I'm a Polish teacher. My MA is about blessings and curses in Fairy Tales. As a cultural champion I can talk about any aspect of Polish culture, language, history, geography, folk arts, fairy tales as well as the differences between our cultures. I can also explain aspects of migration.