Burngreave Messenger

Issue 24 August 2002





Yemeni Youth Conference 2002
by Yasmin Makmahi and Abtisan Mohamed

Being a Sheffielder and being a Yemeni – two worlds or one?

When three young Yemeni youths from Sheffield decided to research the needs of Yemeni youths no one was quite prepared for the outcome.

Gamdan Assinani, Fouad Saleh and Shamsan Shaif, three confident and prominent young figures amongst the youth could no longer ignore problems faced by themselves and others like so many before them. This drove them to investigate the problems amongst the youth in society and to compile a piece of research that would then prove instrumental in the shake up of the Sheffield youth system.

The research once completed with the backing of the Children’s Fund received overwhelming acclaim and publicity. They recognised a gap in the provision available amongst the Youth in the Yemeni community. A gap that they vowed close in order to ensure that the Yemeni Youth are given every opportunity to overturn high rates of unemployment under achievement at schools and generally under achievement across the board.

Out of this was born desire within Gamdan Assinani, Shamsan Shaif and Fouad Saleh and came the collaboration with members of the Yemeni Community Centre, Yasmin Makmahi, Abtisan Mohamed and Amin Kassim, to create a Yemeni Youth Conference. With months of dedication and hard work the conference took place on the 29th May 2002 and was led by Gamdan.

The conference was attended by local agencies, voluntary sector organisations, teachers from various schools and Yemeni Youth themselves. However it was disappointing to note that schools with predominantly Yemeni pupils didn’t feel it was important enough for them to attend.

The four workshops consisted of: Raising Achievement; Culture and Language; Lack of Resources and Refugees and Asylum seekers. These workshops derived from the main purpose of the conference which was to give young people in the Yemeni community a forum in which they can express their needs and aspirations and to bring agencies and young people together in recognition of those needs, and identify a way forward.

Although the conference achieved its main purpose it is by no means a conclusion to the problems amongst the Yemeni youth but an opening to change the many disadvantages the Yemeni youth face.


Yemeni youths from Sheffield at the Conference.