Varria is a lead Registered Psychiatric Nurse working for the NHS for over 8yrs in the United Kingdom. Varria also has several postgraduate qualifications in Teaching, Social work and nursing.
Peculiar Sisters was founded by Varria Russell-White and a group of refugee girls in 1995 . Peculiar sisters was restarted in December 2021 and relaunched March 5th in commemoration of International Women’s Day. Peculiar Sisters is a network of women from across the globe who want to give back to younger girls through mentoring and scholarships program to help girls reach their full potential.
Varria recalled her vision for the group at the time was , to make a difference in the lives of young girls on the refugee camp who were mostly separated from their families and were vulnerable in a foreign country to sexual exploitation , poor access to good healthcare, poor career prospects, lack of positive role models who were educated/professional women. This is still the case for many girls from underserved communities.
Varria stated that her experiences have helped her recognise some of the barriers faced by girls are universally similar; no matter where they lived in the world. The recognition that girls feel unsafe on our streets and at home , due to gender-based inequalities. These inequalities happen to girls in schools, women in the workplace, and society at large.
She experienced first-hand the transformational power of mentoring. She recounts how mentoring has provoke many stimulating conversations with her mentor which sometimes dealt with subjects matter around access to opportunities for refugee women, recognising privilege and what that looks like to those who are underprivileged , our unconscious bias towards women ( of colour/ refugees ) the impact of challenging stereotypes and meaning making and connections. Varria believes that when girls are given access to good education, opportunities and the confidence to be themselves, they can achieve success whatever that means to them.