Promotion of equal opportunities and community cohesion is a very important component to us. We work in partnership with statutory and voluntary bodies to combat any types of unfair discrimination against members of the Somali community and other members of the public. We strive to foster better links and networks between the Somali community, the host community and other immigrant communities living in Small Heath and the surrounding neigbourhoods of East Birmingham. An example of how we implement this is through provision of Information, Advice and Guidance Service about their legal rights if they consider that they have been victims of unfair discrimination. We will also or signpost hem to specialist alternative advice agencies that can provide them with further assistance, including taking legal action, if necessary.
SMHESOCO is firmly committed to equality of opportunities for inclusion of women. We have demonstrated this by successfully implementing two large projects that trained women for new jobs. These projects were both very successful and popular with Somali women who had never had a job before. They were also welcomed by a good many local employers who provided the participants with work experience placements. The first of our Women’s projects was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the second was coordinated by Heart of England Community Foundation and co-funded by the European Social Fund.
We work in partnership with other community groups to build community cohesion (i.e. to bring people from diverse communities for common community issues) through meetings and seminars to discuss local issues. These issues included amongst others, access to NHS Services and places at local schools for children with special educational needs. SMHESOCO also works with newly arrived communities settled in Birmingham. These include Arabic speaking community and people from the Horn of African countries with whom we have a lot in common.
We aim to ensure that all of our services show a positive commitment to equality of opportunities by less fortunate in society such as those with disabilities etc. We provide a home visiting service to people or hard to reach members who are either housebound or otherwise unable to come to our Community Centre.