Al-Mustafa Centre established its community wing, AMC in the Community in 2009.
We have a weekly youth club offering a range of diverse activities which both physically and mentally engage participants to help them to become active and healthy citizens who live fulfilling and healthy lives. We run a whole host of different programmes such as FA football coaching sessions, boxercise, cycling, horse riding, archery, table tennis coaching, pool and video games.
We regularly host careers workshops, giving young people the opportunity to learn about the world of work, find out about careers and to motivate them to develop the skills and qualifications they need to achieve their dreams. Young people regularly have the opportunity to attend mentoring sessions with professionals from corporate backgrounds such as O2 and Provident Financial.
Anti Crime workshops
Crime and gangs are a real concern for local people. For that reason, Kensington Connection works closely with the Neighbourhood Policing Team, Anti Crime Groups such as CON-Sequence and other local organisations to educate young people about the dangers of falling into crime and gang culture.We regularly host workshops on the reality of prison life, knife crime and gun crime and organise visits to Police Stations so that young people can develop better relationships with the Police and also learn about the processes that take place when crimes are committed.
Trips and Residentials
Young people in the Girlington Community are often not afforded the opportunities and experiences that other youngsters may receive. We believe that giving people the opportunity to interact with people of other backgrounds, religions and cultures is important in developing their social and communication skills. Therefore, we regularly organise Trips and Residentials where young people get the opportunity to meet new people and participate in enriching team building and problem solving activities.
Despite the diverse nature of the City we live in and the large numbers of people from various different faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds, often people can live quite a restricted monocultural life without opportunities to engage with others. This is a travesty for us as individuals and collectively as society. The need for engagement and integration is tremendous in a society with some many conflicts and divisions. Giving young people and adults alike the opportunity to meet with people of other faiths and ethnicities is an important part of what we do at Al-Mustafa, because we believe it builds community cohesion and gives people the confidence to work and engage with all communities which helps them to live balanced and successful lives.
We have worked closely with our partners in the Christian Community organise and run interfaith experiences for young people such as an interfaith football tournament and community clean up where Christian young people helped to maintain a Mosque garden and then Muslim children helped to maintain a Church garden. This was a great experience for all involved and helped them to learn more about each others faith and beliefs in a safe and respectful environment.
We live in a world of much conflict and turbulence between people of faith. The need for peace and understanding is greater than ever. Al-Mustafa Centre has always engaged with other faith groups. Our Scriptural Reasoning Sessions ran for 2 years, alternating between a mosque and Church and giving people of both faiths the opportunity to learn about each others beliefs and holy books. All those who participated in this programme felt they found a newfound respect and closeness to the other person and their faith and made them feel more confident about meeting and engaging with people of other faiths in all walks of life.
ANNUAL COMMUNITY FUN DAY
The Centre also organises The annual Community fun day held at Girlington Community Centre. This annual event is a fantastic annual opportunity for the Community to come out and enjoy time together, tasting fantastic food and having fun on the giant inflatables. It is always a great together and celebration of the diverse nature of our community, looked forward to by all attendees.
We believe that community outreach requires us to engage with other community groups, partners and agencies and we have close working relationships with local Schools, Bradford Council, the NHS, Police and Fire Service. One such example of this working relationship is our work with West Yorkshire Police, delivering workshops for Neighbourhood Policing Teams about Islam and Cultural Norms, helping them to understand the religious and cultural context of the communities they work in and increasing understanding and mutual respect in the community.
Arts and Culture
Our Centre was created to improve the life chances of all our members and to give people opportunities and experiences which help them to live fulfilling lives where they can be of positive benefit to others. Although the dissemination of knowledge is one of the primary foci of the work we do at Al-Mustafa, we believe giving our young people in particular the opportunity to develop wider interests and skills will help them to have a more richer experience in their early years and help to grow into confident and intelligent members of society. Therefore, we have a strong focus on giving young people opportunities to get involved in cultural and artistic programmes such as those below.
Poetry Writing Workshops
Our students all have the annual opportunity to attend poetry writing workshops to learn about different types of poetry and the skills and techniques they can use to write great poems. The workshops culminate in an annual poetry competition which participants can enter and have their poems judged by a panel. The students thoroughly enjoy this experience and we have found that it develops an interest in poetry, helping to improve literacy and oracy skills which is a vital need for many students.
Comic Script Workshops
Al-Mustafa Centre always looks for ways in which issues of tension in society can be responded to in peaceful and helpful ways. We also believe that we have a strong duty towards our young people to teach them the rights and wrongs of the actions of others and protect them from the dangers of terrorism and radicalisation. One of the most important messages we teach our young people is that the best way they can have a positive impact in society is by engaging in political processes and understanding the societal norms for responding to conflicts or issues of contention. For example, when the Charlie Hebdo Attacks occurred, a massive debate occurred about freedom of speech. We saw this as an opportunity to teach our young people that they can respond to the anger they may feel about insulting pictures being drawn of Holy figures in their faith, by themselves creating comic scripts of peace with a message of love and tolerance to show their positive response in the face of insulting and provocative images.
Arts and Crafts Clubs
Young people at the Centre have opportunities to get involved in arts and crafts and develop their skills and interest in this area. We believe that giving young people opportunities to learn about and enjoy subjects which they might not usually get the chance to develop interests in at home help them to become more rounded and people, increasing their chances of being involved in other interesting opportunities as they get older and apply for further education.
Case study – Ismail Hussain
One of our greatest success stories has been Ismail Hussain. Ismail began attending Al-Mustafa Centre at the tender age of 5. From an early age his parents and grandparents encouraged him to sing and recite poetry and his natural talent flourished. He was also given fantastic opportunities by the Centre to recite in classes and at events and this talent was pushed and supported to the extent that he is now one of the most successful and well known young nasheed singers in the UK, travelling up and down the Country to attend events he has been invited. Amazingly, he was recently invited to Norway and will also be going on a tour of South Africa soon!
Our community library holds a large number of book on a variety of topics to help improve the literacy skills of young people and help them develop a wider understanding of topics of interest. We also have a large collection of revision guides as well access to laptops for the purpose of revision and homework for young people who are preparing for GCSEs and A-Levels.