We are a user-led organisation, with our methodology based on Eastern values of a mentor-mentee relationship.
We invest time in those around us, building stronger communities from the grassroots. Thus, at the heart of our work is the development of local (and often young) role models who have grown up through the Salaam Peace journey, beginning as project participants and now leading high impact programmes that make their communities a better place.
This is evidenced by 97.5% of our senior staff/trustees (our entire team barring 1) being from BAME backgrounds, either live or have lived in Waltham Forest, Hackney, Newham or Haringey and began their journey with Salaam Peace as participants, then progressing to volunteering and employment with us.
As our staff team are ‘experts by experience’, developing a rapport with participants- be that through sport, media or education, is easier, as our staff team have experienced (and still experience) the challenges facing our beneficiaries.
Once mutual trust and empathy are established, then conversations around more sensitive or taboo topics can take place.
Through engaging in our projects, participants develop fundamental skills/traits including confidence, resilience, teamwork, communication, leadership, empathy, citizenship, conflict resolution and cultural understanding.
Changing The Narrative
The development of such characteristics, in a diverse, safe and welcoming environment, means that our beneficiaries are equipped with a strong skill base and set of values. Thus, if they encounter difficulties, they possess the tools to make the correct decisions and have the knowledge that, in Salaam Peace, they have a positive support network around them to lean on in times of difficulty.
In essence, we change the narrative, working tirelessly and proactively with everyone in our community, to tackle individual and social issues before they even present themselves.
I have had the privilege of working with and supporting Salaam Peace over a number of years. The youth development model created by Salaam Peace is one of a kind and a rare example of how you engage and develop young people into team players, coaches and youth leaders, as well as instilling pride in belonging to a dynamic organisation like Salaam Peace.
We did not just coach young people in sport, but we were enablers within a community, drawing young people together to create friendships and breakdown social barriers young people face within their community.