Helping young people across the region, a British law first has cooperated with a Muslim charity to launch a new mentoring scheme for Muslim youth.
The scheme, championed by Shakespeare Martineau in partnership with Mercy Mission’s ‘Faith in Our Cities’ initiative, will offer mentoring and work experience placements to Muslim youth across the city.
Centered in Birmingham, one hundred local businesses across the city will take action to help young people improve their life chances through confidence and resilience building.
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“It’s estimated that 17% of UK prisoners are Muslim, despite Muslims making up just over four per cent of the UK population,” Mohammed Saqub, partner at Shakespeare Martineau and head of Islamic finance, told The Business Desk.
“A core challenge is that there is an issue with young people heading for a life of crime, as they see little alternative in their future or simply not fulfilling their true potential. Increased mentoring – especially from people who speak and look just like them and share the same cultural heritage – could make all the difference in the path a person chooses to follow.
“When I was at school in the center of Birmingham, I was influenced by a lawyer who came into our school to talk about what he did. Without him, I’m not sure whether I would have chosen this path – his mentoring opened-up possible options for a career and I am passionate about doing the same for others.”
Jehangir Malik OBE, from Mercy Mission UK, is one of the civil society leaders spearheading the scheme.
“We are really excited about launching this new scheme and are very optimistic by the initial response we’ve had from diverse local businesses in Birmingham,” Malik said.
“The project is co-created by young people and local businesses as part of an intergenerational approach to strengthening British Muslim civil society. We recognize the untapped potential of British Muslim youth and the positive role they can play in shaping and enriching our society.
“To this end, we are focusing on creating a multi-faceted developmental approach that ensures that Muslim youth in Britain can fulfil their true potential by launching the Muslim Youth Connected Youth Futures Program in Birmingham.”