My name is Coby Liew and I am a big fan of storytelling. Stories are our primary tools for connecting emotionally with our inner self and the people around us. Stories help us to learn more about the world we live in, build a sense of connectedness within ourselves and externally, teach our next generations about cultural stories, life values and beliefs.
The way I express my love for stories is through photography and storytelling. I am a photography enthusiast and I truly believe that a picture paints a thousand words. Thanks to Youtube I was able to learn more about photography and now I want to use it to help people tell their unspoken stories!
In a nutshell, UNSPOKEN Story is a project I created to offer individuals a platform to tell their inside stories. This process of telling our stories is very important because it teaches us the importance of being resilient and for those who are going through difficult experiences in their lives, it can be a healing agent. In my psychotherapy and counselling work, I often use storytelling as a metaphor for life and assist individuals to find the true meaning and purpose in their journey.
Promoting health and wellbeing
Increasing awareness in the society
Advocating for change through funding new projects
There are a few very important goals I would like to achieve through this meaningful project and you may find more details below.
Goal 1: Promoting health and wellbeing
As I have briefly mentioned above, stories can be incredibly powerful therapeutic tools and they are capable of furnishing a deeper connection with our inner self, hope and resilience. The process of telling our stories, particularly the unspoken ones, help to crystalise our thoughts and feelings; hence, we often feel much better when we finally let it out instead of keeping it all in our head.
Goal 2: Increasing awareness in the society
The umbrella title of this project is called 'UNSPOKEN Story' and there will be a few series related to different social issues that come under this project. In the society we live in today, we are constantly bombarded by societal norms and expectations that are toxic and harmful to our mental health and general wellbeing. As an agent of positive change, I want to challenge that and I am committed to do what I can to create a safer environment for those who are affected by these unhelpful mentalities or practices.
For example, from a very young age, boys are constantly being told to 'toughen up' and 'don't cry'. As they grow up and become men, they are constantly told or pressured by their peers and society to behave in ways that show their 'toughness' and we also hear comments such as 'grow some balls', 'pull your socks up', 'don't be a pussy' etc. What these comments ultimately do is telling men to stop being vulnerable because it's a sign of weakness, and this is so wrong. Vulnerability is the place where we can find trust, respect, hope, love, healing, and courage. It is a great sign of strength, not a weakness.
Goal 3: Advocating for social change through funding new projects
This goal is closely related to my personal experience. I am innately a creative person and in the past, I have great ideas on what I could do to advocate for change (i.e. new projects or programs) but money was the biggest reason that stopped me from getting started. I am blessed that I have a career that I love and I am earning enough to live a comfortable life; therefore, I am running this project solely at my own expense and it's a contribution I want to make to the society I live in.
That said, with all the stories I collected from individuals, I intend to publish most of them in a book and the sales profit will be used to set up a community fund. We all know that it's a pain in the neck to get any grants or funding from the government or organisations for projects. First of all, you need to know how to 'write' a good grant application and that itself is already quite challenging. After getting the grant, you have pages and pages of reports you need to worry about. There is just so much bureaucracy and red tape in the process and that's why I want to set up this fund to support those average, day to day people like me, who have great ideas and want to make a difference in the community, to just get on with implementing their projects and not having to worry about completing pages and pages of application forms and reports.
Obviously, the project is not at this stage as yet, but once we get there, more information will be made available. There will still be some checks and balances but I promise that the process will be far more straight-forward and easier than applying for a government grant.
GET IN TOUCH
If you would like to have a chat about this project, please feel free to get in touch with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you :)