Page last updated at 05:39 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 06:39 UK

Young Somalis 'need more support'

Old Butetown
Somalis first moved to Cardiff at the end of the 19th century

More support for young Somali people is needed to help them integrate successfully, a report has found.

The document, Needs, Aspirations and Solutions, was produced by the Cardiff-based Somali Integration Society (SIS).

The group's Ibrahim Harbi said the report would raise awareness of the needs, suffering and positive contribution of Somali people in Wales.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan will launch the report at the National Eisteddfod voluntary pavilion.

Mr Harbi said that unemployment, unwanted police attention and a lack of positive role models were some of the most important findings in the report.

"Somali young people face particular problems in terms of their education and a lack of parental understanding to support their children's education."

"Somalis are acutely aware of the problems they face and feel strongly that more needs to be done to develop young Somali people into adulthood," he said.

He also raised concerns over the effects on the community of khat, a legal drug which is linked to heart problems and mental illness.

REPORT FINDINGS
Co-ordination of agencies supporting Somali youth in Cardiff
Allocation of financial and human resources to support initiatives
Empowering parents and community leaders to support young people
Training service providers to improve their understanding of young Somalis
Targeting key issues as they emerge
Creating links between old and young Somalis via a strategic forum

The report is being supported by the Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS), whose president, Caerphilly MP Wayne David, will help its launch.

Chief executive Veronica Wilson said: "CWVYS is delighted to work in partnership with SIS to enable the views of Somali young people to be heard to support their aspirations being realised and their positive contribution to the future of Wales."

The report was funded by the Cardiff Children and Young People's Partnership.

SIS was set up in 2002 and aims to help young Somali people overcome barriers to successful integration in their local communities.

Cardiff's Somali community is one of the oldest ethnic groups in the city.

Their ancestors were originally drawn as seafarers at the end of the 19th Century - shortly after the opening of the Suez Canal - to work in the city's docks.

The community was swelled further in the 1980s by people fleeing civil war.




SEE ALSO
Somali support group recognised
06 Mar 07 |  South East Wales
Event tackles Somalis' isolation
17 Jul 06 |  South East Wales
Somali political apathy - survey
26 Jan 06 |  South East Wales
Support offered to Welsh Somalis
02 Feb 06 |  South East Wales
Somalis' struggle in the UK
30 May 06 |  Magazine
Health fears over khat drug use
05 May 05 |  South East Wales

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