Story: Vivien Urwodhi
The Outreach Improvement Project's 2nd annual awards event took place in January. This year, it was in the Town Hall. Over 100 Somali residents attended to listen and acknowledge what the project had done and what it will provide again in the future.
The young Somali organisers announced an impressive list of winners from the Somali community, for achievements in education, community and professional life. They didn’t stop there but congratulated each with a glass award, flowers for the women and words that would encourage others to follow their example.
“We feel this event is important because our community usually gets a bad press focused on gangs, drugs and violence. Because of this, it is easy to forget the achievements of the majority within our community, who are working hard to better themselves and have a positive effect on society.”
Guest speakers included the Imam of At-Taqwa Masjid in Burngreave, School teacher Abdulrahman Mahamoud and Police Officer Paul McCurry, Head of Community Safety at the Council, who encouraged those present to keep working together and to work with the police.
Guest speaker Hamish Wilson, Director at Degmo Farm, spoke about the history of Somalia, with photos he had taken while living there 10 year ago. He described the traditional Somali lifestyle and the thousands of years that the Somali people had spent perfecting the rearing of camels, sheep and goats in challenging conditions. He described the significance of the camel in Somali culture.
Speaking to one of the young organisers after the event, Khalid explained,
“Our group is totally independent and self-funding. This organisation is for young people to improve their prospects for the future. We will be starting a mentoring programme and producing a newsletter and we hope to work with other communities in the near future.”
Award Winners of 2012:
Mohamed Saeed (Outstanding Achievement at GCSE level): Achieved 9 GCSEs – currently studying A-level biology, chemistry, psychology and sociology
Adel Mohamed (Outstanding Achievement at GCSE level): Achieved 9 GCSEs – currently studying his A-levels at Longley Park 6th Form College
lhan Mohamed (Outstanding Achievement at GCSE level): Achieved 10 A* at GCSE
Omer Mohamed (Outstanding Achievement at College level): Achieved 360 UCAS Points and Distinction in sport development coaching and fitness management. Currently studying at Hallam University.
Mohamed Mohamed (Outstanding Achievement at Higher Education and University): Achieved a Masters degree in Pharmacy – He is currently working as a pharmacist by profession
Muna Faraj (Outstanding Achievement at Higher Education and University): Achieved 1st class Honours in Education Studies
Mustafa Ali (Outstanding Achievement in Religious Studies and Quran): He has completed the memorisation of the Quran.
Ahmed Shakir (Most inspirational career person): Is currently studying a MBA in leadership and is the managing director of ETL.
Mulki Galal (Outstanding Contribution in the community / education sector): Has worked in the education sector since 1996 and has been very active in engaging Somali parents to understand the curriculum.
Somali Mental Health Organisation (MAAN) (Outstanding Contribution in the Community): This organisation was first established in 1992. They provide many services and recently have become involved in working with young people through responding to the needs expressed directly by the young people themselves, their families and the wider Somali community
Tusaale Utd (Outstanding Contribution in the community/Sports and community cohesion): A new voluntary organisation that identified the need for our community to step up and increase the number of role models within the community. After consulting with the youth themselves, parents and other community groups, they set up 3 football teams, and after open trial sessions throughout the summer they formed a Under 15's, Under 18's and Over 18's teams and they have entered them into leagues.