Since coming to Sheffield as a refugee from Somalia, Faisal Osman Eid has been involved with the Football Unites, Racism Divides Millennium Volunteers project. Here is his story in his own words:
"I came to England from Somalia in 1996. I was born in Mogadishu (the capital of Somalia) and grew up knowing little else other than death and destruction- having witnessed first hand the effects of the Civil War during the 1980s and 90s. I lost two uncles fighting and countless other family members and close friends in the conflict.
After living in Liverpool from 1996-99, I moved to Sheffield. Even during my early years in Somalia, I had always regarded football as a release from the ‘madness’ of day-to-day life.
I loved playing football, even though my father thought it was pointless. I never thought it was pointless. To me it was like cultural, tribal- but without tribes. Besides, it is better than getting killed or carrying a gun loaded with bullets, isn’t it?"
"My ‘football madness’ eventually (through a friend) led me to the Football Unites, Racism Divides project, where I signed up to be a Millennium Volunteer. I was interested in giving something back to my community and thought the best way was to utilise my interest in football, so with the help of the MV staff I qualified as a level one football coach and helped to run an Under 18 football team largely made up of Somali young people called Surud United. Surud United now plays in one of Sheffield’s local leagues.
I have also completed a basic youth work training course and have been able to use the learning from the course in my voluntary work. Since becoming a Millennium Volunteer I have done over 400 hours of voluntary work and am willing to do more as the experience has been great. It has given me the chance to meet and get to know new people, improve my social skills and most importantly pursue my interest in football whilst at the same time helping my community- I love it."