In celebration of our latest Nike Air Force 1 ‘Manchester – size? exclusive, we’ve teamed up with three residents of the city to see what it means to them, how they’ve seen it change as they’ve grown up, and how it’s impacted them and their practice.
Maria’s story is one of strength and determination. Her first encounter with Manchester was at the age of 7, having moved to the UK from her native Uganda. She vividly remembers her first experiences of arriving, riding a train for the very first time, having access to hot water, and opening her eyes to the wider world.
Having experienced issues at home, her escape was through her school work, and the Central Library in Manchester was the perfect place for her to go somewhere safe, quiet, and allow her to progress with her studies and continue on her path to getting where she wanted to be. Every weekend she’d be eagerly waiting outside until opening and spend hours concentrating in the epic space.
After it was noticeable that issues were becoming a real problem, her school reached out and she began receiving support from Manchester charity We Love MCR, who gave her protection and aided her in moving to a safe environment. The Rising Stars program covered costs to allow her to fulfil her dreams of finally going to University and continue to develop without any worry.
5 years on she’s now giving back by studying midwifery at Uni, and would eventually like to help and support people all over the world, even suggesting that she’d like to go back to Africa to help aid native women who might not have systems in place. She doesn’t want to limit herself in what she might be able to achieve in the future, but she’s very optimistic and definitely wants to be spontaneous. Having the chance to be able to give back to people in the same way that she was assisted is something she strives for. Although she now studies away from the city, every time she returns it still feels like home.
You can enter the draw for our exclusive Nike Air Force 1 ‘Manchester’ via the size? launches app now; it’s priced at £130 and available in both men’s and women’s sizes. 10% of each sale will be donated to the city’s We Love MCR Charity – ‘Rising Stars’ Fund.