Happy List 2015: Mohammed Zafran, Youth and Community Worker

 

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The Independent Online

Mohammed Zafran, 35, has helped to improve thousands of young people’s lives after the murder of his brother-in-law. As a result, he has been listed on the Junior Chamber International ‘ten most outstanding young persons in the UK 2015’ and has been recognised by many - including the Independent on Sunday's Happy List 2015.

Zaf’s brother-in-law Sarfraz Khan was stabbed at the age of twenty-four in south-east Birmingham, in March 2010. It was after this tragedy that Zaf decided to set up ‘All 4 Youth & Community’- an organisation which gives young people the opportunity to return to education through sporting programmes.

The projects help young people in the most deprived areas of the city - including Alum Rock and Handsworth. “From streets, gangs, alleyways and parks, youths have been given a new source to get their lives back on track- through showing them much-needed support, understanding, and affection,” says Zaf.

He has now been recognised with over ten honours and awards including the Pride of Birmingham Award 2014 and the BBC West Midlands Sports Community Project of the Year 2013.

But that’s not all, the proud community worker says: “I am on the Queen's Honours List 2015, received a British Empire Medal, and I got a letter from Prime Minister David Cameron- who said he was proud of all the work I have done.”

The charity organisation now has over 13,500 young people registered on their books, and has helped 1,500 more get back into education, as well as returning another 1,200 young people to employment

The Birmingham father of two says: “I feel frustrated seeing the routes some young people have to take. There is still a lot of work to be done but thankfully more people are coming forward to help with this cause and together we can all make a difference. If I could help even one youth to make a positive change then all of my work is worth it.”

Zaf also set up an Asian women’s academy in 2013, which over 2,000 women have signed up to. He says: “A lot of young Muslim women are forced into arrange marriages, so the academy enables these women to continue with further education once they finish secondary school.”

Proud of the improvements he has made, Zaf says: “my biggest satisfaction comes when I see the young people I work with progress in life. My aim for the future is to continue to help the youths get back into education and help other community groups to grow.”

 

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