Being a member at Fight for Peace is not just a hobby, it’s my way of life

25/08/2016 – Aba Abubakar faced a huge challenge when she came to the UK from Kenya, aged just 14 and without her parents. Here she tells us how she overcame the obstacles in her life and what Fight for Peace means to her:

One of my cousins had heard about Fight for Peace from his friend and he told me about it, it was all by word of mouth. It was 2010 and I had recently come to the UK from Kenya. At that time I really needed a part time job, something small just to be able to look after myself – I was only 14 and I was here in London without my parents.

When I came here from Kenya, I had to adapt and it took me a long time. I was reserved at that time, I was confused and I didn’t know who to trust at that time because I didn’t know anyone. I had some family here and I was living with them but as far as outsiders went, I didn’t know how to interact with people.

When I came to Fight for Peace I came in, I spoke to everyone and everyone was so friendly, you wouldn’t believe that it was my first day! I was like ‘wow’! The staff said I could do anything so I chose to do Fighting Fit and Boxing, that’s how I started. The first person that trained me at the Academy was Allyson and she sent me straight into the ring because she could see that when I jabbed I had some skills and potential.

Then I discovered that Fight for Peace can also help you get a job so I met Shakeela, the Employability Coordinator, and I had some appointments with her, job hunting and everything. I actually was really focused on the physical training at that time.

As far as the job hunting went, I started of in the retail sector but that wasn’t for me and so I started working in the security industry, working as a steward. At Fight for Peace you get help in different ways, whatever you want they will help you. You learn how to represent yourself in the interview, in fact a few weeks ago we went to State Street Bank in Canary Wharf to practice job interviews, learning some dos and don’ts and how to write a great CV.

I also recently went to Newquay in Cornwall on a residential course that was aimed at helping us gain new skills. We did a lot of different activities, for example surfing, bodyboarding , kayaking, and cliff jumping, and we also did a first aid course. For me cliff jumping was the hardest part because I am really scared of heights but I overcame my fear and did it and it was a good experience.

Fight for Peace is like my home. You cant even describe the way people get treated here, they are welcomed, even though they don’t know you they will bring you in. I am really bad with names so I can’t remember half of the peoples names here but I speak to everyone, I know their faces.

For me Fight for Peace had a big impact. The way I am today, I wasn’t like this before, I wasn’t truly 100% confident, and fight for peace helped me with that. Now I can express myself, I can speak in front of a huge crowd and everything, before I couldn’t, I would never give someone eye contact.

Through Fight for Peace and through working in the security industry I experienced a lot of things. My school also helped me so thanks to my teachers and Fight for Peace I am who I am today. In life I want to be someone who helps other people, just as other people have helped me.