For our third Meet the Charity, we sat down with Ali from Baraka Community Association to find out all about the amazing work him and the BCA team do.
First things first, who are you?
I’m Abdullahi Ali, the Founder and Director at Baraka Community Association, also known as BCA.
Which charity do you support?
BCA aims to advance the welfare of asylum-seekers, refugees, and migrant communities, mainly of Somalian origin, Muslim and other BAME communities including other vulnerable recently arrived/settled ethnic minority communities in London.
What does BCA do?
For children and young people, we provide study support to help with their National Curriculum subjects and bridge the gap in their educational attainment. We also run residential activities for boys and girls during school holidays and away days during school holidays and weekends.
We put on football sessions every Saturday and Sundays too. Plus, boxing and gymnastic sessions twice weekly and girls only sporting and physical activities.
As well as this, we host advice and guidance drop-in sessions, Monday – Friday; mentoring and leadership training twice a week; weekly healthy cooking sessions for girls; a weekly rolling program of parenting training for young fathers; a rolling program of 12 weeks’ employment training and general health and wellbeing support.
Where is BCA based and where do they do most of their work?
We’re based in North Kensington but we support people who have just arrived or settled in Kensington and Chelsea, The City of Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Brent.
All our activities take place in local community centres including Westway Sports Centre and Canalside activity centre.
What sort of things do you use donations for? Can you give any specific examples?
We use donations to hire sessional coaches, youth workers, teachers, volunteers, venue hire, cost of trips, and residential equipment like computers and sports gear.
What have you worked on that you're most proud of?
Supporting children and young people to reach their potential by providing educational support after school, which enables them to get good GCSE and A-levels so they can pursue further and higher education.
What are the biggest challenges still to overcome?
Our biggest challenges are to get our own centre to run and coordinate activities, funding, and sustainability.
What have you and your charity got planned for the next 12 months?
Updating and building a new website, staff training, purchasing a new 17 seater minibus and organising even more activities for the communities we serve.
Other than donating, what’s the one thing people can do to support your charity and its mission?
We would love people to offer their skills and experiences. In particular, any help with website development, social media, organisations impact, business planning, report writing and fundraising would be very appreciated.
If you'd like to find out more about Baraka Community Association search for them in the Toucan app or head to www.barakacommunityassociation.org.