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Inner Essence

A program that was mindfully designed for women and teenage girls

I believe in a world where women and girls can unapologetically be themselves by embracing who they are with self-compassion.

This will allow them to live their lives confidently and authentically.

It is done by empowering them to enhance their mental health and self-worth through storytelling, self-care and creativity workshops.

Rediscover Your True Self At
The Inner Essence Workshops

The stories we tell about ourselves and the actions we take shape who we are. Our workshops help women unearth their inner essence through creative storytelling and self-care tools.

We all deserve to feel connected to who we are and what we want, but many stresses in modern life often make us feel stressed, anxious, disempowered and disconnected.

We are all born with a blank canvas with an undercurrent of intergenerational trauma that had been ingrained in our family traditions. Our childhoods provide the core and building blocks of our mental well-being. As we grow and experience life, we are influenced by the experiences of trauma from peers and external stimuli, and the image that society paints of us.

Societal pressures distort our sense of self by telling us who we are and how we are meant to look, think and behave. We internalise these pressures and try to attain a perfectionist ideal that we can never quite live up to.

Somewhere along the track, we become distant from who we truly are. The disconnection between what makes us unique and our fragmented self-identity manifests in a lack of purpose, people pleasing and self-limiting beliefs which determine how we navigate the world.

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About Our Workshops


Our workshops help you unpack and unlearn the constraining expectations so you can realise your full potential. We help empower you to paint a whole, authentic self-portrait of who you are and guide you to nurture your inner essence.

We do this by weaving creativity, storytelling and self-care practices in an inclusive and safe environment, leading you towards transformation.


You will have the opportunity to express yourself and create a vision that establishes your path to healing and re-discovering who you truly are.

It is delivered with cultural sensitivity that makes women from different walks of life feel seen and heard.

Types of Inner Essence Workshops

Creative Storytelling


Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to experience deeper connection to ourselves and others.

You will learn simple but powerful ways of tapping into the essence of your story through a fun, creative and sensory approach. The creative storytelling resources cultivated through this workshop can help you build your resilience to navigate the world authentically.

Creative Self-Care for Women


Positive self-soothing techniques and practical self-care tools will allow you to relax, let go of stress and elevate mindfulness. These are also very important life skills that help cultivate resilience and personal growth.


Our workshops will help empower you to paint a whole, authentic self-portrait that connects you back to your inner essence as a method of self-care and mindfulness.


Our approach is about discovering what works for each individual and tapping into your inner resources to nourish your wellbeing.

Creative Expression for Teenage Girls


In this workshop, we encourage teenage girls to engage in a creative approach to embrace who they are unapologetically.

They will be immersed in small-group workshops, focusing inwards to discover their inner essence and explore what nourishes their wellbeing.

Through these workshops, we aim to help the girls develop a stronger sense of self-identity and connection with themselves and others.

What Women & Organisations Are Saying

Hawanatu's Inner Essence Workshop was a beautiful glimpse into what's possible when we take a moment to breathe and listen to our inner stories. Despite a quick pivot to the digital format, Hawanatu presented a well formulated and engaging workshop filled with practical mindfulness techniques presented in an easy to understand way. Our goal for the day was to create a strong foundation for young people to go forth and tell their stories on their own terms, and I believe Hawanatu made this possible using a mixture of personal reflection and group exercises that let everyone interact with the material on their own terms. 

Izaebella Antoniou

(Projects Officer - Multicultural Youth Affairs Network)

Thank you Hawanatu - I find myself very empowered to stand in and speak my truth with even more authenticity than before.  There is also a sense of being able to own my story that I wasn't able to access beforethe workshop. Deeply valuable to me.


(participant in the Creative Storytelling Workshop)

The Inner Essence workshops with Hawanatu were absolutely amazing and so engaging! Despite being an online workshop due to the lockdown situation, Hawanatu managed to genuinely engage with the group of participants and make everyone feel safe and welcome.

The two sessions were quite insightful and provided the group with valuable ways to practice self care and mindfulness.

Thank you again for being such a delightful facilitator, full of positive energy and a bright outlook on life!

Yamane Fayed

(Multicultural Women's Hub producer,Arts & Cultural Exchange)

I had the pleasure of attending a two-part on-line workshop recently hosted by ICE and facilitated by Hawanatu Bangura.  She has a calming voice and her gentle disposition lends itself to making participants feel comfortable throughout the sessions.  Her delivery of information and self-care techniques was clear and easy to follow. Feedback from participants at the end of each session was positive and everyone felt they had learned some new coping tools to take out into their everyday life. I look forward to attending another of her workshops  in the near future.


(participant in the Creative Self-care Workshop)

I just want to share how the workshop came at a really important time in lock-down. The day after the last workshop, my family dog of 11 years, Buddy, died. It was a sudden death and I was really devastated that I couldn't grieve with my family in real life. I cried with my family over a video call and felt I was alone in a state of grief in the sharehouse I currently live in because of the lockdown 5km radius restrictions.  What really helped me pull through was knowing I had a list of self-care routines and soothing practices I could fall back upon to look after myself. It gave me a sense of control in unsettling times, so I just want to say thanks to both ICE and Hawanatu for organising this workshop. Even though I would say I find myself a resilient person,  a workshop like this is a primer that we all have different ways of taking care of ourselves. The more complete our self-soothing box is, the better we are at bouncing back.


(participant in the Creative Self-care Workshop)

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