Minister of the Month – Vivien Eka
Meet our Minister of the Month Vivien. Viv is a gentle, thoughtful, patiently encouraging club mentor who is particularly skilled at drawing out stories from shyer children. Recently, she’s taken on the new challenge of being the Chief’s Assistant, talking to the miserable Chief in front of our visiting school groups.
Volunteer role: Writing Mentor, Chief’s Assistant
Favourite story and why:
I’m a fan of short stories in particular Aesop’s Fables, popular with both kids and adults. I like this one:
The fox is very fond of itself, knowing itself to be both clever and handsome. Although the farmer chases it with a gun, the fox always escapes. Although the farmer locks up the hens each night, the fox always finds something else to eat.
One night the fox finds a bunch of juicy grapes, which are just out of its reach. Even though the fox can normally get what it wants, on this occasion the grapes remain out of its reach. So, it pretends that it didn’t want them anyway, claiming that they would be sour.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born in Hackney and went to school there too. I love taking photographs and really enjoy visiting new places in England and around the world.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Ministry of Stories?
I was introduced to the Ministry by my sister who works for Penguin Random House. The Ministry had given a talk at Penguin Random House and my sister knew that I enjoyed working with children and recommended that I give it a go. I’m glad that I took her advice.
Were you nervous about anything before starting?
I was a little bit nervous I must admit. I think what the Ministry of Stories does is incredible and I was a worried that I wouldn’t be able to meet the expectations of a writing mentor. (Editor’s note: Vivien is a brilliant writing mentor and has more than been able to meet our expectations.)
What has been the best experience of volunteering?
Acting as the Chief’s Assistant in the Storymaking workshop.
What has been the most unexpected thing about volunteering?
I was invited to volunteer to raise awareness of the Ministry of Stories at Letters Live, an event where great performers read a selection of letters. That was a great volunteering experience.
Has volunteering changed anything in your life?
It has made me feel more confident. I’m grateful for that.
Describe the Ministry of Stories in three words:
Rewarding, varied and fun!
What would you say to other people thinking of volunteering with the Ministry?
Don’t sign up tomorrow, do it today. You won’t regret it, I promise you!