My name is Nadeem Ahmed. I am nineteen years old. I am currently studying Youth work OCN level 2. Before I joined AASHA, I was not in education because I dropped out of college right at the end of the year before I had my exams. I wasn’t working either.
At first I didn’t know what AASHA was about, all I knew was that it was a project in BLYDA. I just thought it was just another project, waste of time and it wont benefit me in any way. The reason behind that was I have attended a lot of projects and workshops in my local youth club (Wessex Centre) and it didn’t benefit me in anyway apart from getting goodie bags.
About 9 months ago I was in the park with my mates just hanging around trying to kill time, and I saw Asif and Ebadur who are my mates talking to some of the youths in the area saying what things they want in the area and how they want to make a change in our community. I was really shocked when I heard that because I thought they were joking. I was also really impressed with them because they want to make a change our local community, looking at them made me feel that I should do the same because at the end of the day it is my area and I want to make a change. I spoke to Asif and Ebadur and told them what they were doing, and I asked if they were getting paid for what they was doing and they said; “no we are doing this voluntarily with AASHA A project in blyda”. That motivated me more to join the project, so I asked if I could join they said “Definitely we are looking for people like you”. So they took me to BLYDA and I had to fill up an application form and I had to do an interview with Muhammad Rabbani (Project Manager). When I finished the interview he told me that I passed and there, I was a Peer Worker!
Whilst I was a peer worker my perceptions and views had changed about AASHA. I no longer thought that it was a waste of time, and it had benefited me a lot in terms goals in life and what I wanted to become in life.
Until a couple years ago I didn’t know what line of work I would be going into, however living in a high crime borough and being close to the community I soon found myself working with and around youth projects. Regularly aligning myself with the AASHA project, I heavily involved myself in participating in youth projects from first aid courses to adventure trips. After having many in depth discussions with my local youth workers they guided me in the steps needed into becoming a youth worker. Having realised that experience is key I was involved in a variety of volunteering work from organising football tournaments for the local community and working with disabled people.
This gave me a broader experience of youth and community work that allowed me to explore the realms of community work. Having experienced and witnessed anti social behaviour within the younger community, by relating to the younger generation I have gained a mutual understanding with the youth and can use this to help them in achieving goals that would have rather been impossible in their eyes. To me it is more than just an occupation – it’s a lifestyle choice were I choose to help the disadvantaged; having been at risk from being on the wrong tracks myself.
Having come really close to the launch of GTA I feel that I have made a big impact in my life and I also could make changes in others people lives in our community. My goals have also changed in life before I wanted to become a police men but know my goal is to become a project worker because I really like working with the youth and the community, it is my passion to help and change the society.
I feel I have the capability to achieve something that would benefit not just me but the whole community. Hopefully the outcome of the course and the relevant experience will allow me to be the best youth worker I can be.
That is why I am currently studying Youth work OCN level 2, I would like to study BA youth and community work because I am fascinated with the course content and from my previous experiences in relation to the course.