For the last eight years, the Somali youth club in Birmingham has attracted the youth in the community and it became a perfect place for them, where they can make their time more productive while socialising and having fun with other people. This work was set up by few people who missed the opportunity to have youth centres during their teenage time and now they desire a change for their younger teens. Much gratitude to Ahmed and Jibril who took this burden on their shoulders without getting a penny for it and also they were the co-founders of this illuminating project. The journey never end there, others decided to continue this work and we are convinced that many help were delivered through this youth centre but more is needed. When I saw young boys in this youth club, I realised some issues that are facing the youth are already solved. Below we will mention some of the challenges that our youth are facing currently.
To begin with, school is the foundation of any child’s future. It prepares the child to be self-sufficient and we all assume that the schools should be the safe heaven for a child but this is not always the case. In the past decade the violence has increased in schools to the point that I sometimes see police standing outside schools to prevent youth gang clashes. So, growing up in school environment is tough for any young person nowadays. It can also affect the child psychologically because of witnessing crime and violence more often. Most parents are fed up, hopeless and some even decided to move areas and cities for fear of their sons or daughter getting involved in violence or gang crime.
Secondly, being with bad or drop-outs groups causes teenagers to fail in life. Knowing the people or the group you hang up with is a major issue among our youths today. By chilling out with someone who is on the wrong path could drag young bright hardworking student into trouble, crime or even can lead to dropping out of school.
Finally, lack of communication between the youths and their parents is another factor that leads to failure in school or joining the wrong or bad groups. Basically, let’s face it, there is a life style difference between the parents and the youths and sometimes the parents might not understand the problems of youth and vice versa. So, the manner or the way the parents talk to their child can affect the perspective the young person about their own community. Parents usually don’t see the youngsters effective or they can make a difference in any way, and they compare them(youngsters) with what they were doing when they were at their age. Normally you hear parents say: when I was younger, I was doing great things. But hey, although what they did is good, I wish they can be great now as they claim. So, it’s really a good thing to value the youth and include them in decision-making and assign them with major responsibilities, whether in the family or in the community. Also, it is useful to be a good role model for this bright and energetic youth and hopefully, one day the youth can be proud of themselves and they can say when I was younger, I worked hard, studied hard and I’m now having a professional career with a bright future.