Why it is needed:
A significant fraction of the UK refugee population are Afghans. Many Afghans and other minority groups living alongside them often feel excluded from the British society due to their lack of language skills and other life skills. This has resulted in a lack of awareness of the many opportunties that are present to help them towards inclusion and integration. Afghan Social Club is providing a platform for isolated individuals to come together under one platform with the Afghan community, where they can share their struggles and experiences and use them towards becoming more successful at integration. For Afghans, meeting other Afghans that have that have significant achievements and are recognised in British society will given them the needed confidence that the same is possible for them. At the same time, particularly for the youth, it will encourage them to partake in community activities and dicourage them from violence and crime.
A particularly important group of our focus is Afghan women who often lead a secluded life limited from any social interaction by the same lack of language skills and life skills. We aim to bring these women together in order to create a network for them through which they can find out about educational, social and employment opportunities. As a result, least year Afghan Social Club Women's Group was set up by the female members of Afghan Social Club in order to make our activities more accessible to women. This has created an opportunity for Afghan women from all ages and abilities to come together on one platform to address topical issues that particularly affect these women in the UK society.
We want to develop a number of activities, based on community need. These activities will: - Provide social and cultural support for Afghan and non-Afghan communties - Reduce isolation - Raise awareness of the many obstacles faced by the community and providing appropriately solutions to them - Develop an information network for people so that they can hear about and keep up with employment opportunties - Encourage integration by organising events that develop social and educational skills - Celebrate cultural and religious days through community participation
Though these events we are comitted to: - Increasing motivation and confidence - Recognising and honouring educational excellence within the community - Highlighting the achievement of succesful Afghans in the fields of business, education, social work and the arts - Encourage women within the community to gain valuable skills and become more independent and confident in their daily lives - Promoting other community based organisations in order to provide diversity - Working closely with the Lewsiham Safer Neighbourhood boards in order to combat crime and violence - Inviting local prominent figures such as councillors, MPs and other professionals to give talks on their role within the community
How we deliver these projects: - We will organise several events throughout the year addressing each of the above mentioned factors in depth - We will engage with members regularly through social media by anncouncing events and highlighting new developments wihtin the community - We will identify a permanent place of gathering such as a community hall which will make it easier for members to locate us and have face to face access to us.
Some of our past events have included: - In total we have had 4 events in over the past year - Guests speakers have included local councillors, MPs, Members of the Safer Neighbourhood Board, Lewisham police officers, University professors, BBC journalists, Writers, Poets, Musicians, Sports figures, Comedians and Dancers - Each of our events had around 250 attendees
Our overall vision is to establish a confident and outward looking Afghan community. We hope to instill British values such as community participation, diversity and appreciation of surroundings. Our events actively discourage the youth from following the paths towards violence, crime and extremism. Ultimately, if these men, women and youth realise that they have a place in society and are indeed of significance to that community, they will work harder towards the success of that community.