Ceremony held to celebrate Somali community in Liverpool, England

3 min read

A Liverpool community often considered “one of the biggest underachievers” has been recognised for their recent achievement.

Liverpool’s Somali community held a ceremony in the PAL Centre, Mulgrave Street  Liverpool 8 , this weekend aimed to celebrate graduates from Liverpool’s universities.

Saeed Ibrahim, co-ordinator of the Merseyside Somali & Community Association (MCCA) told the ECHO: “For many years, the community was concerned with the education attainment of the children. It has been noted they were one of the biggest underachievers.”

The community felt, despite many discussions with state providers of education, little was done to address the issues and felt many generations have been failed.

Saeed added the aim of the ceremony was “to show the next generation it’s possible to do well in this country coming from a BAME background, motivate children to follow the graduates and ignore false images portrayed by the media”.

He added: “There have been many negative stories about L8 and the Somali community to do with drugs, crime, failure in education and unemployment.

“We believe some of the reasons why there’s a large number of youth committing these crimes is the lack of confidence, self-esteem and role models.

“There are other factors, but negativity in the media and stereotypes contributes to their failure”.

MSCA supports young people by organising events and seminars to address under attainment.

Kim Johnson, Riverside constituency MP said: “It’s recognising Liverpool has a long established Somali community in terms of merchant seamen and supporting the war effort.

“Also about giving recognition to young people who have achieved, and inspiring more to achieve through the education system”.

Tom Logan, Princes Park councillor (education cabinet member) said: “One of my priorities is to make a difference. I encourage adults to take up governor roles (in schools) to help make change”.

The community sees the importance for those still at school to listen to young people who they can relate to, who have experienced the same difficulties and achieved.

Sisters Fahima and Filsan Ismail studied Biochemistry and Sociology at Liverpool John Moore’s University.

Fahima said: “I was always interested in science and really good at it. I was first born, and there were expectations to be a doctor or a lawyer, I was always geared towards science.

“For encouragement I say people should keep trying, keep going and not give up. I failed my A levels the first time and had to resit. I’m happy that I did and so proud of myself”.

Filsan said: “It kind of started in school being in a classroom as the only black woman and Somali as well. I realised that I wanted to be a voice for others. I did not want to be the stereotypical things that my parents wanted me to be.

“I’m looking at public health, looking at the inequalities that we face environmentally, the housing crisis, especially living in Toxteth . Living in Granby, I’ve seen deprived housing.

“I really wanted to have a voice for people, especially me being a black Muslim woman, we don’t have a voice, so going into this kind of background is what I want to do”.

The host for the day Zak Hassan, University of Liverpool graduate in Accounts and Finance said: “This is very important to shine a light on those having success.

“There are going to be a lot of obstacles that they will come across during education, as there are a lot of education inequalities. They have to strive to work harder in school and get aspirations to do well”.


Somali born MP elected to high office in Italy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!