Ocean Somali Community Association (OSCA)

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Main actors

NGO / Philanthropy, Community / Citizen Group

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Project area

Metropolitan Area

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Ongoing since 2014/01

A charity organisation providing services to residents in East London to foster their integration.

OSCA is an innovative charity organisation running free services for residents in East London. The organisation's aim is to provide support services for the Somali community in the East End of London to access opportunities, strengthen relationship with mainstream service providers to create social changes.

Their mission is to help the Somali community become more self-confident, healthier and economically stronger by tackling inequality and promoting unity. They help the Somali community to become better skilled both educationally and professionally enabling improved integration into wider society. 

Principles governing OSCA's activities include:

  • Providing free confidential advice, supporting services and information to their users.
  • Committing to their equal opportunity policy and procedures.
  • Seeking user feedback, their views and endeavour to listen and learn from them to improve their services.
  • Taking up all social issues within their community.

Sustainable Development Goals

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Reduce inequality within and among countries
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
London, United Kingdom

Size and population development

Population composition
36.7% of London's population are foreign-born.

Main functions
Capital city ; leading international financial and business centre.

Main industries / business
Global city with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, healthcare, media, research and development, tourism, and transport, leading financial centre.

Political structure
The Greater London Authority is responsible for strategic development aspects. 33 local authorities are responsible for local services not overseen by the GLA.

Administrative structure
The city is divided into 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation.

Somalis in the UK face multiple challenges and have complex needs. Recent reports carried out by different sources show that young Somali's are one of the most disadvantaged groups in the UK. OSCA is committed to addressing these trends by working in close partnership with all agencies at strategic and local level. Their main core objective is to support individuals to overcome barriers and get involved with economic activities.

The vision of OSCA is to represent the Somali community across London and work to serve their needs.


To build the capacity of the Somali community by providing educational and skills based programs for adults and providing creative learning activities for young people.

To identify needs of the community and work to address lack of service provisions by working with regional and local service providers. To assist the community to engage and influence decision making processes such as economic developments, political agendas and provisions. 

To act as a gateway for information.

Specific aims:
  • To provide quality services suitable to the needs of the Somali community.
  • To build a platform for Somalis and other communities to come together to share information, exchange knowledge and skills.
  • To encourage Somali people to access public services, such as regeneration programmes, employment, training opportunities and cross-cultural events.
  • To promote working partnerships and break down barriers between the Somali community and service providers, such as, the police, HM Prison Service, Social Services and Education bodies.
  • To work in collaboration with local service providers to improve communication, the delivery of services for Somali residents and other communities.

Since its inception, OSCA has built a range of services for Somalis and other communities to come together to share information, exchange knowledge and skills.

OSCA has good relationship with many service Providers in the UK to enable the Somali Community to access mainstream programmes and facilities, such as regeneration initiatives, employment and training and cross-cultural events. OSCA aims to take stock of the Olympic opportunities in East End.

Project examples:
Mothers & Daughters Healthy Lives Project 
Funded by Healthy Borough program, the project worked with women and their families by delivering healthy lifestyle workshops and activities. Project has delivered healthy cooking classes with nutrition, lifestyle coaching and gardening. The women were thought how to grow in pots and balconies.
Somali Youth Development Project

This project builds the capacity of Somali Youth organisations in Tower Hamlets to deliver high quality and effective youth work provisions and able to meet the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills and funders requirements. It's chaired by senior officers from the Borough and meets every month. Achievement this year:

  • Multi-Youth Centre continued to provide social activities for local youths in the evening and weekends to benefit from a range of diversionary activities. It served over 200 young people this year.
  • The club ran courses and social activities for both girls and boys from different backgrounds.
  • Supported 4 youth workers to complete Youth & Community work qualification at Tower Hamlets College.
  • Supported 10 Somali led voluntary organisations working with the community and offered capacity building support.
Community Involvement Project
Funded by Comic Relief, the project works with women and young people from the local community who usually do not mix. The project runs workshops and teaching communities to use existing skills and empower them to work with others in the community. Women and young people worked on the building and decorating of the community centre to make it better place for the whole of the community. Young people fund-raised £16,500 from the Tower Hamlets Youth Opportunity Fund for the extension of the centre to include ICT suite for young people.

A Statement of Financial Activities is available here: http://www.oceansomali.org.uk/static.php?pid=8

The organisation is supported by a range of partners providing funding sources. OSCA's partners are listed here:

During the past year, OSCA has worked with over 300 women, delivering 50 workshops and administering three projects to empower women by delivering educational, recreational and one-to-one support activities.

Many of OSCA's clients face difficult challenges including:

  • children excluded from schools, 
  • language barriers, 
  • families run by alone parents, 
  • poverty, 
  • poor health, 
  • inadequate housing, 
  • loneliness and isolations.

(Source: http://www.oceansomali.org.uk/mission.php?pid=3)


Ocean Somali Community Association:



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Kathy McConell
Melbourne , Australia

Kathy McConell

Individual | Food System Specialist

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