Somali Youth at Risk Outreach Program (SYROP)
Presents the Somali Community Sports Club
As we look for means and ways to positively assimilate troubled immigrant youth, we find that sports have a positive physical and mental impact. We think the time spent on organized sports would replace the time the youth could be spending on other risky activities, for instance, drugs and crimes. Sports Club also gives them the chance to compete positively without risking their lives and that of others. The Somali Community of Colorado (SCCC) formulates Sports events not merely as a sporting event, but more importantly as a social gathering. Interactions with other young adults that are more educated give the youth positive guidance. Youth relate better to those closer to their ages, and therefore spending time with a sports team would be more productive than lectures from adults. On the agenda is organizing girl’s team we are working on the dress code for the girls because we don’t want culture shock to occur. We are also asking parents to volunteer in planning, coaching and refereeing depending on their knowledge and skills.
The Somali Community of Colorado’s role:
At SCCC, we think youth’s rebel largely in search of social acceptance, failure of adult understanding, and peer pressure. We want them to think the idea of going to college as “cool”. The Interactions with college students will make their goals of going to college appear more concrete. Many immigrant youth find it difficult living in two cultures simultaneously. Some of the youth live in homes where they are the only ones who speak English. Some of them come here without parents and they are tempted by malevolence of the society. They find themselves caught between two dissimilar cultures, so they find consolation in the company of other rebellious youth. The SCCC wants to give them an alternative and a constructive social assembly that eases their transition. The SCCC assists parents and teachers with after school programs. We interpret and translate for parents who do not speak English. In some cases SCCC represents parents at schools, should the youth have problems. We give cultural guidance to parents, and warn them about the dangers of not been involved in the youth’ lives. We assign mentors to some youth, particularly those who come from single parent families. We mediate parents and youth, in the event of domestic conflicts. The SCCC teaches youth the Somali language, so that they become bilingual and offers them job skills training. Learning a new language in a new culture is difficult for many youth therefore, the SCCC tries to ease the process of transition and acculturation for Somali youth in metro area. Due to the absence of positive influence of adults, many youth resort to negative behavior such as drug abuse. The SCCC tries to replace the youth’s time with positive activities. Although SCCC cannot fill the role of parents, and cannot supercede the parent’s authority, we assist parents and schools by creating social events for youth at risk. Our goal is to provide the youth with positive alternative to channel their physical and mental energy. The SCCC allocates resources to youth at risk so that they become productive members of our society.