29/06/04 (B253) Communiqué en Anglais de l’Association de la Communauté Afar en Angleterre / Afar Community Association in UK


P.O. Box 43269. London
E14 7WL
Telephone & Fax: 44 (0) 207790 6046
E-mail: afar_community@hotmail.com

25 June 2004


Needs Assessment Meeting of the Afar Community in UK (ACA)

Afar Community Association
in the UK was held its first meeting on 30th May 2004, at Praxis, in Bethnal
Green in Tower Hamlets. The purpose of the meeting was to consult the members
of the community to establish their needs. The Management Committee of the
Afar Community Association warmly welcomed the participants who came from
different Boroughs of London to attend the meeting on their speeches. It has
been said that unexpected numbers of people have been attended the meeting.
The MC of the ACA explained the objectives, membership procedures, rights
and duties and the advantages of having Association in UK to the participants.

Community Needs
Among the needs identified by participants was a centre/ a suitable community
office in order to provide the free supply of advocacy, advice and information
for the community;
– to encourage the holding of social, educational, cultural, publicity and
awareness days or events for the purpose for promotion of Afar families, community
– to strengthen natural kinship relations amongst Afar community and to help
raise awareness of Afar community in the UK;
– to organise English, Maths and Afar Language classes, to coordinate seminars
and conferences and to arrange career advice workshop to equip community member
with necessary skills and qualification in order to improve their living conditions

The participants have recommended the ACA to work closely in partnership
with statutory institutions, voluntary sectors and NGOs in general at national
level and with Tower Hamlets at local level to develop the exchange of information,
advice and experience with them in order to facilitate the needs of the Afar
community in the UK.

Point of view
Mrs. Kadiga Houssein said that "the meeting was characterised by
a sense of learning, skills-sharing and achievement. The participants had
a chance to discuss their social, cultural and community needs in democratic
environment she added". The participants have been encouraged by the
Management Committee to participate in and to be involved with community activities
to enhance the objectives of the ACA. Mr. Houmed Mohamed Abro described the
meeting as a "fantastic opportunity for the Afar". "It will
allow the members to have a single voice and to be able to discuss their needs
satisfactorily he added". Miss. Halima Ali said that the meeting was
wonderful, as it was conducted on friendly environment".

The Afar community living
in the UK "tend to be extremely disadvantaged due to the social and cultural
barriers and due to having no organisation to specifically focus on their
needs. Today’s meeting will help us to identify the social and cultural isolations,
which are facing Afar community in the UK, said Mr Mohamed Omar (Merito).
Meanwhile, an excellent afar folkdance and Dinkara Music followed the meeting.
The participant had great time and enjoyed with lovely music and Afar traditional
folk dance at the end of the meeting. Waawow, it was really jolly and enjoyable
meeting said one participant.

We would like to take
this opportunity to convey our gratitude to Dr. Mike Mills, Prof. Chris Dixon
and Mr Phil Jones at the London Metropolitan University, Ms. Ibi Heinanen,
Ms. Mya Gordon at the Community Organisation Forum of Tower Hamlets, Mr. Samuel
O. Ayulolomon Advice & Advocacy Worker at Diaspora, Mrs. Aicha Houssein,
Mohamed Hassan, Ibrahim Ahmed, Kamil Robleh, Mrs. Aicha Houssein, Ahmed Shehem
and Houmed M. Ali who are members of the ACA, for their practical support
and participation in the ACA activities. A special thanks goes to the Bridge
House Trust and Community Forum Organisation of Tower Hamlets for their extensive
support and advice which have been given us to establish the ACA and to organise
this meeting as well.

Afar Community Association in UK