Story: Lisa Swift
Young Somali people gathered at Sorby House on 9th January for a day of activities that truly inspired them.
Organised by MAAN (Somali Mental Health project) the event was attended by 200 young men and women, who where able to access information about all kinds of opportunities open to them, such Sheffield Futures, Sheffield College, recruitment agency CFFE, Job Centre Plus, the Fire Service, Police, and the Community Stop Smoking Worker.
Key to the event’s success was the Somali role models who had come from Sheffield and London to share their life experiences – presentations about the journeys to the careers they are in. In workshops young people were able to talk to a an IT consultant, a Special Police Constable, a Social Worker, a magazine publisher and the owner of a medical recruitment company, all from Somali backgrounds.
Abid Gulaid is 23 and runs his own IT consultancy in London. He explained how he had studied at college, gaining a software industry qualification then, after working for several companies, he set up on his own company:
“My mother instilled a lot of confidence in me. As a single parent she inspired me and I wanted to make her proud. I’m impressed with the ambition of the young people here today, hopefully we’ve helped them see what can be achieved.”
Rashid Karshe runs a medical recruitment company in London:
“I started out with nothing, just working out of a friends bedroom five years ago. Now we have grown to a £6m turnover. I studied politics at university and went on to work in insurance and then in a medical recruitment consultancy, before I set out on my own.”
Saynab Mahamud works for a community project supporting women to increase their confidence and to take up civic roles such as school governors or magistrates. After gaining a degree in International Relations, volunteering in community projects led to project management.
“We are aiming to empower the community to understand the system. It’s been a really good event bringing together so many young people. Something good always comes out of talking to young people, I feel it is our duty to come here and share our experience.”
Young Somali athlete Abdirisak Ahmed also spoke to the young people gathered. He’s currently taking a gap year and training for the UK Championships 5000m, he said, “Young people are not taking part in sport at club level. Not everyone can be academic; I want to encourage young people to try sport.”
Ayan Yusuf, who attended the event said,
“Its been very inspirational and its motivated me to continue with what I’m doing. I’m currently in my 3rd year doing a Children and Playwork degree.”
Ramla Mohamed said,
“Its been amazing and inspirational. It makes you see there is a future for people who strive and work hard.”
To find out more about MAAN contact Faisa mobile 07957 731 003