Written by Gail El-Halaby: 14th October, 2020

When I first learned about Babbasa, I fell in love with the ethos, and what Babbasa were striving to achieve. To have the opportunity to work within a team so passionate, involved and motivated in bringing about positive systemic change, support and equal opportunities for all, has been truly special. Witnessing the power of change has motivated me to pursue activism as a career path.

Growing up as a second-generation immigrant, I became acutely aware of the unequal playing field individuals from both low socio-economic backgrounds and ethnic minorities face in the UK.

My mother emigrated from Colombia in her mid-20s in search for a more stable life, and my father came to the UK as an asylum seeker from Lebanon, escaping the civil war which tore apart the country throughout the 1980’s. Upon arrival, neither of my parents received any support or directional advice, entering the world of precarious work as a way to financially survive. The stories my father told me of the discrimination he faced as an Arabic man in the UK, especially when he had newly arrived, is deeply upsetting. Unfortunately, we know, for a fact, that this is an issue thousands of people face every year.

A very personal reason I connected so deeply to Babbasa is knowing how my parents could have benefitted from being offered the support Babbasa offers, including mentoring, skills training and placement programmes.

Since starting at Babbasa, the most prominent work I have contributed to is the three-part #BridgeToEquality research report. This document brings together pieces of research Babbasa commissioned, looking at the main needs and difficulties faced by inner-city youth in Bristol. The main goal is to bridge the employment and opportunity equality gap. The recent global COVID-19 outbreak has exacerbated issues individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds already face, making it an ever more important task to bring about collective systemic change for the city.

This month, Babbasa will be hosting a series of consultations for Bristol City stakeholders, including young people, community partners and corporations, to virtually come together and learn about the findings and recommendations of the #BridgeToEquality research paper. By joining, you’ll be helping to refine city wide recommendations and produce an evidence-based theory of change, robust city plan and ultimately embark on a public campaign to get commitment from city leaders and institutions towards solving long-term challenges.

Join us to learn more about Babbasa’s research findings, responses and what we can all collectively do to produce change for the future:

To RSVP to the virtual youth consultation please register

To RSVP to the virtual community and education consultation please register here.

To RSVP to the virtual corporate consultation please register here.

If you have any queries or questions about the upcoming events, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Gail, personally at admin@byep.org.uk