Meet the Nigerian refugee helping others in Haringey

Ahmed Mohammed founder of Haringey You vs You charity

Ahmed Mohammed founded Haringey-based charity You vs You in 2018 to provide support for refugees and asylum seekers - Credit: Ahmed Mohammed

The founder of a Haringey-based charity providing a range of support for refugees and asylum seekers said his own journey inspired him to “give back to the community”. 

You vs You, established by Ahmed Mohammed, 26, in 2018, works with refugees and asylum seekers to help them with mentoring and personal development, as well as necessities such as immigration and housing. 

Ahmed, who is himself a refugee, started You vs You to aid others in the same situation. 

He said: “One of the reasons I started my organisation was I was looking at what actually helped me to get where I am, who supported me, what did I do different, and also where did I get things from, where did I go.  

“So, I realised sometimes they don’t even know how to access services, so that’s when the whole You vs You came about, to use my own personal journey and professional experience to support them.” 

Organising workshops and events, such as sports activities, “helps them to look forward to the next day, encouraging them to do the basic things”. 

You vs You football image

You vs You organise workshops and events including sports activities. - Credit: Ahmed Mohammed

Ahmed’s own journey began in 2010, when at the age of 14 he was brought to the UK from northern Nigeria by a man who then abandoned him at an airport.  

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After being taken into care and finishing school, from the age of 18 he had to wait four/five years for the Home Office to grant him legal status to find work. 

He said: “It was very challenging with the whole mental health; depression, anxiety, the whole stress because you don’t know what will happen the next day.” 

A You vs You event, organised for January 10, aimed to help with an area Ahmed said many refugees and asylum seekers struggle with: digital literacy. 

So much of modern life, from college to applying for a job, is reliant on being able to effectively use online resources, a skill Ahmed noticed a lot of people are missing. 

He said: “They have smartphones but they can’t use them effectively. They have laptops, but they can’t use them.” 

Ahmed said he hopes workshops such as this will provide a dual function; helping attendees “develop personally”, but also, and just as importantly, enable them to “also be able to help others”. 

For more on You vs You, check out its website here: http://www.youvsyoultd.co.uk/

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