“You know, I am no longer a person who just goes through regular discrimination and racism and says: ‘oh well, I am too small to make a difference, I’ll just lay low and move on with my life.’ I am a mother of three. They were born in this country and I have to make sure that they will have the life they deserve. My past taught me that if you have a voice, you have to use it. If you have a skill, you have to put it into work. Whatever you can do to help your community. If everyone is waiting for someone else to make a difference, then most likely there will be no difference made. My children and the children of all migrants will not always be under our wings. There will be a point in our lives when we will have no choice but to let them fly. Will they be confident? Will they be accepted? Will they enjoy life? Will they be happy? It all depends on what kind of environment we build. How could I avoid doing things for my community? My children will go into the community that we leave behind. I don’t want them to be hurt. I want them to be free, I want them to dream and I want them to think it and believe it. I studied mass communication back in Nigeria and working in radio taught me how to use my voice to create change. I know that media has the power to influence the public. If the media is projecting migrants as opportunists that are here to take your job, well, that is what the general public will believe. I realised that there is no media outlet in Ireland that is in the hands of migrants. Nobody knows about the wonderful resilience and the incredible life stories these people have. No one knows about their hard work and nobody celebrates their achievements. Well, I am here to change that!”
Islammiyah founded a community radio station with the support of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. Its’ called GOCOM Radio and it is the first premier ethnic minority interest and multilingual community radio station in Ireland.
SEI is making €8,000 of funding available in amounts of up to €500 to people with very early-stage ideas for solving social problems to carry out some initial research and scoping. Everybody is welcome to apply, but SEI is particularly encouraging applications from people from under-represented communities. Find out more on the link! Applications close 11th November.