Hodan Somali Community is a community organisation that came together as an organisation following a period of sustained demand from the local Somali community in West London. Hodan began to set up in mid-2005 and launched in February 2006 with a small grant from the Local Authority, providing a basic support service with volunteers. Hodan has since grown and developed to meet the needs of the local communities, with a paid director and a solid volunteer base.
The number of people accessing our services has increased considerably since the launch of the organisation, and we have begun to diversify our target audience beyond the Somali community through our popular `Health Empowerment and Engagement Club for Women’ project, which attracts women from many ethnic groups.
We work primarily with groups that are typically seen as `vulnerable’, especially single mothers and their children, the elderly, people with disabilities and/or mental health difficulties, and young people who are not in employment, education or training.
Yet we encourage people to look beyond these labels and see themselves in a positive light – as vast reservoirs of talent, wisdom, knowledge and enthusiasm, which they can use in moving forward on their own journeys and in supporting others.
Service users tell us that our services are an important bridge towards integration, understanding the UK systems, becoming more independent, feeling better about themselves and improving family relationships.