This week Babbasa celebrates 10 years of transforming lives, whilst also looking forwards to the future. Over the next 10 years, our vision is to grow into an international outfit; branching out to other core cities in the UK, and in Africa, to transform even more lives.
Our name ‘Babbasa’ represents an African concept, which means ordinary citizens or agencies coming together to act as a support bridge for those in need. It is an ethos we adopted when incorporating the organisation in 2013, in response to the growing gap in the economic achievement of young people from Bristol’s low income and ethnically diverse communities.
Ten years on, we have become an established presence in these communities; providing a space for young people to explore their talents, grow in self-belief and confidence, and be supported to fulfill their potential in education, employment or in enterprise.
I am immensely proud of the successes that we have been able to help young people achieve – from those building businesses in Bristol to others starting roles in global blue-chip companies. Our hope is that these young people will continue to become shining lights within their families and wider communities, inspiring others through their successes, and acting as change-makers in Bristol and our wider world.
As we look ahead, we know that cities across the world like Bristol are projected to host 70% of the world’s population by 2050. We also know that when cities have social mobility actors such as Babbasa in their ecosystem, the potential to create opportunities for a better life, provide a pathway out of poverty and act as an engine of economic growth is high.
Babbasa therefore has a vision to grow into an international outfit; branching out to other core cities in the UK, and in Africa, to transform more lives. Using the research data produced in the Socioeconomic Analysis Report 2022, we have developed an innovative city-level social mobility intervention model called OurCity2030, that will allow Babbasa to reach more young people and employers in a replicable way.
We are excited about the advances made so far under OurCity2030. We are also grateful to have ARUP, Black South West Network, Bristol City Council, Business West, Cabot Learning Federation, University of Bristol, University of the West of England working with us as core partners.
However we will need more than our core partners to realise the OurCity2030 vision. We will need you – be it in the capacity as a mentor, funder, employer or policymaker. Let me therefore use this opportunity to invite you to join Babbasa and the OurCity2030 movement, to create a new generation of coders, creatives, activists, architects, engineers, entrepreneurs and social scientists who are truly diverse in race, faith, culture and class over the next 10 years.
Poku Osei, Founder and CEO