Asia Haidari first approached Active Communities Network in October 2016 after visiting her local leisure centre in Lewisham where she came across our all-female football sessions through one of our partnership programmes.
Asia initially struggled with the culture shock and adapting to London style of living having recently emigrated from the united states, after being born and raised in Afghanistan.
Her regular attendance at the female football sessions had a positive impact on her social and communication skills as well as her footballing ability. She showed great commitment by taking part in various tournaments and friendly matches, and soon earned the respect of her peers.
This high level of commitment and ambition prompted our staff team to put her forward for a Level 1 community sports leader’s award. Asia successfully completed the award whilst fasting for Ramadan the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, which was highlighted and Asia received an additional award of recognition from Sports Leaders UK for the spirt of leadership.
Now armed with a new sense of personal achievement, Asia opted to take part in a Community Action Day, held at the TNG youth & community centre in Sydenham in June. This unique event brought professionals from Discovery & Euro sports and key members of the youth social action group together to partake in an employability skills day. In return Asia had the chance to demonstrate her leadership skills by devising and delivering a mini sports session back to the professional representatives.
Since gaining confidence at the Community Action Day Asia has been a firm member of the youth social action group and regularly voices her opinion on the challenges and problems found within her community. Her positive outlook and willingness to develop programmes to help counter these challenges demonstrates her strong personal skills and the ability to be inclusive and receptive.
Asia has aspirations of gaining higher further education in the UK, but it is proving difficult due to the American grading system. In the meantime Asia has continued to be active with any positive initiatives that ACN can offer, and true to her word in July became a #Achiever, which is partners Rio Ferdinand Foundations youth leadership programme. During this experience she has successfully helped to create and deliver community sessions to a range of different ages and cultures across Lewisham.
Asia’s confidence has really blossomed since her time with ACN, and this is demonstrated by her recent work experience placement with St James Place, the leading wealth management company. This week-long work experience enabled her to develop valuable skills around business as well as learning key skills to help her own personal development. As a result Asia was awarded with an accredited qualification in business management for her efforts.
We expect to see more great achievements from Asia as an active member of ACN.