We are looking for dedicated and passionate youth mentors to be the difference – to help build, uplift and be a part of guiding the generation of tomorrow.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP TODAY!
In the past 19 years there have been over 4000 terrorism arrests in the UK, with every raid has and arrest leaving a trail of distress and trauma in its wake.
Amongst those most acutely affected are the innocent children present in the household, most of whom have witnessed a raid at a young age, causing considerable distress at the time and having a lasting impact for years to come.
“All I could hear was screaming…my kids screaming… My daughter, she was so small, she saw and went into shock, she began to cry, asking where are they taking my Abu (father).”
The Reality for Children of Prisoners
The emotional and physical reaction to the loss of a parent to prison has been likened to bereavement, so it is unsurprising to learn it leads to higher levels of truancy, low levels of motivation, poor academic achievement, and behavioural problems in school. However, imprisonment doesn’t always elicit the same sympathetic or supportive response as bereavement or divorce, though more children are impacted by parental imprisonment than they are by the latter. Children of prisoners are more than twice as likely, to suffer from mental health problems, three times at risk than their peers of committing anti-social or delinquent behaviour, with two thirds of boys with a convicted parent likely to become offenders themselves.
To exacerbate this, the children of beneficiaries are often subject to bullying from their peers, are ostracised by family friends and live with the stigma of being the child of a ‘terrorist’. Alongside reconciling their personal conflicting emotions such as grief and anger, they witness their remaining parent struggle as a single parent, whether that’s financially, practically or even emotionally.
“…She won’t sleep at night. When she goes to bed, she is kicking her legs, moving around, tossing and turning. She never did that before…Sometimes she is sitting there, and she looks depressed, quiet and upset, thinking about things. She says, ‘I was just day dreaming’; she doesn’t want to tell me about what is upsetting her”
Amongst the many ways the impact of an arrest manifests itself in children include:
- Irrational fears
- Temper tantrums
- Attachment issues
- Intervention from Social Services that cause anguish, instability, and anxiety
- Bullying at school
- Decline in academic performance
- Major alterations to dynamic at home
“It impacted my education so that I actually failed my GCSEs…I failed everything”- Abdullah
many beneficiaries have reported the long term impact of experiencing parental
imprisonment in their childhood and how they have struggled to find their way
in life since.
The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it
It is essential that positive, consistent and accessible role models are present for young people, particularly where their family situation does not allow for this internally following an arrest. Mentoring is an effective tool for developing long-lasting and consistent relationships that have an impact on vulnerable young people and their families. It provides young people with individuals in their lives who they trust; who will explore alternatives with them; who will instil a belief that something better is possible; and who will help them to set goals and work hard to achieve them. Mentors will draw on their own personal experience and skills to help their young mentees reach their full potential.
We want to provide every vulnerable young person in the charity with a consistent, trusted and positive adult role model in their life who inspires and supports them as they grow into adulthood.
With this scheme we hope to:
- Restore a positive role model in their lives so that they have someone to look up to
- Empower our young people to set goals and work towards achieving them
- Make them comfortable with their identity as Muslims growing up in the UK.
Why Be a Mentor?
As a result of parental imprisonment, many young people are left without a father – at times, even their mother – and their struggles are not dissimilar to an orphan. Our responsibility toward those growing up without a parent in their lives is a weighty one, that goes beyond monetary support, and in fact extends to guiding and mentoring.
“When you feed them, clothe them and train them physically, you are fulfilling their rights for which you will be rewarded; by the same token, when you train them spiritually and impart beneficial knowledge to them, and guide them towards good morals and manners and warn them against the opposite, you are also fulfilling rights which are even more important.” (Sheikh Ibn Sa’di, Bahjat Quloob al-Abrar)
We are looking for individuals who will be kind and compassionate to a young person that has undergone severe loss, confusion, and difficulty. To commit to supporting him/her in such a way in which will undoubtedly earn you great reward with Allah and light in this life and the next.
“Perhaps the reason why the one who sponsors an orphan will be so close to the Prophet (saw) in Paradise is because a Prophet (saw)…is like a sponsor, teacher and guide for them, and the one who sponsors an orphan is taking care of one who does not understand his religion, or even his worldly affairs, so he guides him, teaches him and disciplines him. (al-Hafidh al-Iraqi)
To be a part of such a unique endeavour is both an opportunity and a trust.
We are looking for dedicated and passionate individuals to be the difference – to help build, uplift and be a part of guiding the generation of tomorrow.