Passion4Fusion supports ethnic and cultural minorities in Scotland to play an active and confident role in their community.
Passion4Fusion received £36,700 from the Young Start Fund, a programme run by the Big Lottery Fund that distributes money from dormant bank accounts.
Their project is a sports and arts programme that targets ethnic minority young people living in Edinburgh and West Lothian.
It aims to support inclusion and integration by removing barriers, reducing isolation, and increasing understanding and respect of ethnic and cultural minorities.
“We can’t be any more proud of this”
Every Saturday local coaches run sessions in football, basketball and arts.
These activities are a way of engaging and empowering ethnic minority young people, teaching them new skills and improving their wellbeing.
Jonathan Ssemantu works as a Youth Development Worker on the project.
“Young people come to the sessions, just to enjoy, to have fun, to build confidence.
“It’s a place for them they want to be in terms of reducing isolation … . So when they come to our sessions, it’s a welcoming environment.”
An important part of the project is how it involves the local community, including the families of the young people who attend.
“I engage with parents on a daily basis, I go out into the community.
“I want them to understand what it feels like for their children to take part in activities, and also they need to be integrating better throughout the communities rather than isolating themselves, staying in the house, not wanting to be seen in the community because of things like racism.
“It’s beginning to take away their fears. It’s beginning to generate confidence within ethnic minority young people.”
With its funding, Passion4Fusion has been able to buy new equipment and run sessions in more locations – expanding their reach and making even more of a difference to the lives of young people and their communities.
“The funding for us I think is really helping in terms of bringing these communities together. Not just the young people, but also the parents now are fully involved in knowing what we are doing for this community, what can we do, how are we going forward.”
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