Relationships are what I thrive in, and it is good relationships, which make for effective youth work. Having always been voluntarily involved in youth and community work, in one way, shape or form I have been able to gain a great deal personally; spiritually and mentally, practically; emotionally and physically and professionally; through having a great sense of achievement and satisfaction (always good motivators).
I must admit, I have learnt most things through experience and not in the classroom, from the great teacher we call “hindsight” and the friends who have always felt free enough to express their opinions (thanks for sharing guys)! That, tooled alongside my own critical skills of observation, reflection, deliberation and rational judgement have shaped me and driven me to where I am now, and given me a clearer indication of where I want to be.
So what do I add to an organisation like this? Seriously; a sense of creativity, I’m an optimistic realist, I like to be quirky and inventive, to step outside the box, to dance around inside the box and at other times set fire to the damn box! I’m not a conformist, and don’t live to the social norms and expectations of those around me, and it is this very fact that enables me to work so well with young people and young Muslim people specifically. Young people do not accept the social norms dictated to them by individuals from a different generation.
They question attitudes and standards, and rightly so. Through this, my aim is to help develop capacity so young people can make sense of their experiences, challenge conditions not conducive to them rather than adapting to them, and have the opportunity for self exploration, real discovery and just to breathe easy.