The Muslim Youthwork Foundation Offer
Muslim youth work can enable young people to have a sense of self worth that takes on board the faith dimension of their identity. Young men and women need to be taken seriously in the Muslim community; the youth work process can enable this. This is particularly so in the current policy agenda where young people need to be seen to be taking an active part in the projects and initiatives put forward for funding. Youth participation can contribute to addressing the gendered nature of representation as well as informing interventions in crucial spaces outside home, mosque and school:
- It can bring into play existing curricula in culturally appropriate ways and also develop new positive curricula.
- It can introduce new models of understanding work with young people and the purposes that influence it.
Muslim youth work can form relationships with young people that are accepting and well informed about the faith dimension of their lives :
- It can assist young Muslims constantly faced with negative images of their faith to challenge this in a constructive way e.g. the arts, creating spaces for their voices to be heard.
- It can develop new relationships with the Muslim world and influence agendas on issues of justice and minorities as members of the European community.
Youth workers from BME communities in senior positions with local authorities are few and far between ,and are often stretched and ghettoised. A national network can be a source of support. Theoretical frameworks that authenticate a Muslim perspective and approach to work with young people are being developed and the Foundation is a vehicle for sharing and inspiring these.
Why We Are Here
The Muslim Youthwork Foundation has created an opportunity for more effective work to be done with young British Muslims to achieve the government’s Every Child Matters Outcomes and its agenda on community cohesion and safer communities. The work to date in establishing this organisation has created a culture in which a positive and challenging dialogue is sustained so that existing boundaries of what can and cannot be said about Muslim youth work can be expanded.
Our Offer To You
The Muslim Youthwork Foundation is run by a Board drawn from a variety of faith, cultural and professional backgrounds, four of whom are Directors. The Muslim Youthwork Foundation reaches out to you, the youth work specialist in a number of distinct ways :
A resource presence for supporting organisations in developing ability and capacity to work with Muslim young people, providing conceptual frames, training and project monitoring.
Developing Information Streams
Connecting significant parties involved with or who aspire to develop work with young Muslims. Connecting expertise to need, opportunity to aspiration and divergent communities (including professional communities) to what each has to offer.
Developing [Communities of Practice] with both specialist voluntary projects and statutory agencies wanting to develop positive programmes of work with Muslim young people as well as tackling skills deficits within the faith and professional communities.
Advocacy, Analysis and Critique
Ensuring that practice and policy is connected to a wide range of critical perspectives from young people and those writing and commenting on issues in relation to young people and Islam. Young peoples voices, experiences and concerns are consistently visible through our [Borderlines], [Faces and Places], [Witness].
Piloting or developing areas of work that would have particular significance to young Muslims such as international work, professional entry initiatives (scholarships programme) and [Communities of Practice].
Defining Muslim Youthwork
The definition, purpose and principles have been arrived at through the national conferences on Muslim youth work and a subsequent national workshop. They for the first time articulate a definition for Muslim youth work and what its purposes and principles should be. As you can see it is a defined and non confessional exercise. This can be adopted for your work if you wish to do so.
“Creating safe spaces for Muslim young people to explore personal, social,
spiritual and political choices”
- Support and promote Muslim Youth Work to initiate and develop sustainable opportunities for young Muslim people to reach their full potential.
- Provide a platform that connects the voices of youth workers and young people to policy and government.
- Generate and connect critical thinking to policy and practice.
- Provide support and expertise to organisations and bodies seeking to develop youth work with Muslim young people or wishing to develop Muslim approaches to this work.
- M<uslim youth work is for all young people who self define themselves as Muslim and people who do youth work with them.
- Muslim youth work is non-sectarian and committed to fairness and inclusion.
- Muslim youth work aims to focus on tehd etails of yougn peo;le lieves rather than teh political imperatives emerging out of events. “lives and not to events”.
- The Foundation values transparency of the organisation’s activities and the data it generates is shared for alternative perspectives to be generated.
- Young people are integral to the leadership and development of youth work enterprise.
- That muslim youth work is led by realities and issues not dogma.
- In Muslim youth work knowledge is inseparable from practice - it is experiential
- Empowerment, or the ability to contribute to a community thus creating the momentum for learning and belonging.