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ABC 6 teaming with Somali Community Link to make an impact in the lives of kids

by Rodney Dunigan
Thursday June 29, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — A major push is underway to make a positive impact in Columbus' growing Somali community. The aim is all about reaching kids on the ground level in an effort to create the city's next leaders.

Columbus has the second largest Somali community in the United States. Over the years. neighborhoods have been the target of crime and violence. Now, volunteers are kicking starting a push to connect with those who are new to the city to break down barriers and keep families out of harm’s way.

The city of Columbus has kicked off a number of programs focused on improving the lives of Somali refugees and immigrants here in this community. From advocacy, to education, employment and housing.

A big area of concern has been safety and security.

In recent years ABC 6 has tracked a series of serious crimes that have hit the Somali community. Workers at a Somali restaurant on Cleveland avenue were targeted in a vicious armed hold-up. The entire thing was caught on camera. Those inside broke down for us exactly what happened.

Then there was the case of popular faith leader, Imam Mohamed Hassan Adam whose life was cut short. His death led to an outpouring of reaction from across the city and the country. ABC 6 was there as mourners packed a northeast Columbus mosque to remember his life.

These crimes two of the more high profile, but not the only ones to hit the Somali community. Several outreach resources have been put in place by the city and police to address concerns and get those new to the country to report issues. Especially in communities such as Wedgewood Village. We've walked the streets with law enforcement there..

The latest effort to connect in the classroom. The Somali Community Link newspaper serving as a hand-up to many families. The Link is hosting a summer youth journalism program, giving back to kids here, breaking down barriers, and pulling youngsters away from the dangers of the streets.

Organizers are confident the effort will be life changing.

ABC 6 is committed to helping the community find solutions to issues and not just reporting on the problem. As a part of that commitment members of the ABC 6 team are also serving as volunteer mentors, giving their time and expertise to the kids involved in that journalism program. All of it a push to help those kids have a brighter future.