Dr Swadesh Bansal is the first of our participants to record her story 'A Sentimental Profession' for the project. This extract explores Swadesh's first arrival to Sunderland and her important and valuable work as a doctor.

Swadesh's story

A Sentimental Profession

Geetha's story

Community: The most
important thing

Geetha Shrestha shares her story about coming to Sunderland from Nepal in the 1970s, the value of learning English and the importance of community.

Nilima arrived in the UK with her small children in the 1970s and was greeted with a wintery surprise. Nilima also describes the interesting items that she brought with her from home.

Nilima's story

A Wintry Greeting

Mohinder's story

Learning English
and saving a life

Mohinder's story is a poignant reminder about the importance of learning languages and feeling part of a new community.

In Jyoti's story we learn about the daunting feelings arriving alone as a young woman in a foreign country, the importance of education for girls and supporting local women's projects in Sunderland.

Jyoti's story

It always remains with you

Leila's story

A Changing World

Leila came to Sunderland in 2007 to study English and subsequently decided to return and make Sunderland her home. Originally from Kazakhstan, Leila was a practicing Neurologist before coming to Sunderland and her story explores the many ways life's events can lead to unexpected paths.

Teona's story explores migration from Georgia to Russia and then to the UK. A talented musician and teacher who studied for nine years at musical college and at the University of Culture and Art in Moscow . Teona shares in her story, her passion for life and appreciating what we have.

Teona's story

It doesn't matter where you
live. It matters how you live.

Remy's story

I will always do good things
& hope the next generation
will harvest what I have
planted in the city

A prominent figure in Sunderland, Remy Smith talks about growing up in the Philippines and her love of travel. Remy has worked tirelessly in the City to bring together diverse communities, empowering women and has been instrumental in the stories from our sisters in Sunderland steering group.

Part One of Juliana's story explores her early childhood in a strict home, becoming orphaned as young girl and her desires to travel. Juliana experienced years of prejudice and racist abuse when she arrived in Sunderland which she describes in detail in Part Two of her story.

Juliana's story

Forget about the past and
look forward to the future.

Sreelekha's story

Though we are living here
we have never forgotten
our roots

Sreelekha Reddy is the founder of Sangini. In this story we learn about Sreelekha's early childhood growing up in India, her arrival in England in 1977 and finally settling in Sunderland in 1997. Sreelekha describes the importance of friends becoming your family and the inception of Sangini.

In this honest and moving story of the realities of migrating to the North East, Shona invites us to consider the often challenging circumstances her family faced and how she was and still is able to draw positive strength in feeling Sunderland is now her home.

Shona's story

Sunderland: An eye opener

Padma's story

Elevating Women's
causes in Sunderland

Padma's story takes us from arriving as a very young woman in the UK and her relentless passion for the Arts, Women's Rights and fulfilling a lifetime ambition in creating a unique studio and exhibition space for both local and international artists.

Gezekile's story explores the contrasts between growing up in Zimbabwe, day to day life in Sunderland and the importance of being true to yourself and being happy.

Gezekile's story

Sunderland gave
me Education

Gitika's story

Life is so much better
when we all mix

Dr Gitika Banerjee's story begins in Burma and takes us on a journey through the Second World War, where Gitika and her family fled from their home in a fascinating yet frightening story.

Gurbaksh's story explores the many differences between growing up in the Punjab and England and how faith, tradition and caring for others are the root to her happiness.

Gurbaksh's story

Making other people happy,
keeps me happy

Kelly's story

Dreaming of England

Kelly shares her childhood dreams of England and keeping her family's heritage and beliefs alive in Sunderland.

Khady's story takes us from the Congo to Senegal, to Spain and then to the UK and Sunderland. This truthful account of Khady's struggle during difficult times, reminds us of the importance of women's refuge services and feeling safe.

Khady's story

Now I have a reason
to stay in England

Carmen's Story

A warm, summer welcome

Carmen arrived in Sunderland from Malta in 1989 and has lived here ever since. She recounts her story, which began with a romantic chance meeting and describes the friendliness of the local people which led to her work with a women's charity.

Haffezar Khan was born in Trinidad and travelled a great deal before settling in the North East in the 1990s. At 21 years old, Haffezar was the youngest female Member of Parliament to be elected in the western hemisphere, where she represented her constituency St. Augustine in Trinidad.

Haffezar's story

There are so many
positive things here

Habeeba's story

I like Sunderland for its
down to earth people

Habeeba chose to follow her heart and left behind a privileged lifestyle in Sri Lanka to make the UK her home. This story explores making difficult decisions and appreciating the friends that become your family'.

Stories From Our Sisters


This showreel focuses in on some of our favourite bits from the 'Stories From Our Sisters' project.

Lijie's story

A daring decision to
leave my own country

Lijie Zhang grew up during the difficult years of Cultural Revolution and later worked as a news reporter, producer and Editor in Chief for a Chinese TV. She recalls her experience of migration as 'a very daring decision to leave our established lives behind and start fresh as a foreign student.'

Born in Philippines, Laura recalls her first experience of arriving in Britain two days before Christmas, watching the snowfall and eating mash potatoes. She reflects on her early days of growing up in Philippines, later marrying her British husband and moving to Britain.

Laura's story

To catch the snow

Welcome to Stories from Our Sisters in Sunderland

Exploring the stories of Black and Minority Ethnic women who have made Sunderland their home.

Happening Now

The project has almost come to an end, however, one of the key outcomes from the project is the deve...
The showreel focuses in on some of our favourite bits from the 'Stories From Our Sisters' project:
Untold stories of migration, integration and settlement by women from diverse communities living in...
International Woman’s Day Celebration ‘The sparkle in your heart’: To celebrate International Women...