As part of our overall objective to enhance the life opportunities and advocate for a better future for the Somali community, we have embarked on a series of policy briefing reports covering a range of themes and issues facing the community. Throughout our experience, we have learnt that our overall shared challenges are many and structural. However, this is rarely evidenced and this gap in the data has caused many empirical challenges in policy circles and has not done justice to the key challenges we are all facing – this gap has obscured the multi-faced challenges the community is experiencing at grassroots level.
To address this key obstacle, COVID19 presented the perfect storm to document our joint key challenges whereby we began capturing the socio-economic, health and overall risks COVID19 has exposed within the community. This gave us an opportunity to seek resources, support and policy attitude changes at central and local government levels while also paving the way for greater scope for partnership with key national funding agencies.
Recognising the need to strengthen strong community data at a grassroots level has been – and continues to be – a critical area of our work. This first-hand community data intelligence and observational findings has given us greater advantage to lobby and advocate for the key bread and butter issues faced by our community to relevant government policymakers and agencies tasked with the national COVID19 recovery.
It is also important to point out that the needs and challenges the community is facing are historical in nature and these structural challenges existed before COVID19. Our overall discourse was shaped by clearly evidencing these challenges while also addressing the new barriers and risks associated with this pandemic. Striking this balance has not been easy both theoretically and practically. However, it was necessary to make that distinction as COVID19 cannot be the only blame for the multi-faced challenges faced by the community.
It is our view addressing prior existing challenges while combining support and policy attention to new challenges will make the difference in the overall recovery from the pandemic for the community. To help realise change there are ongoing policy dialogues at the Greater London Authority, Department for Work and Pensions, NHS England and at Number 10 Downing Street where we aim to influence policy attitudes and delivery to the community.
Our recent policy briefing reports cover the following themes and issues:
- Impact of COVID19 on the Somali Community
- Mental Health
- Impact of COVID19 on Horn Africa Women
- Impact of COVID19 on Unemployment on the Somali Community
- School Exclusions among Somali Pupils in UK [PENDING]