Sophia Kibirige, MK Muslim Association

What is your proudest Citizens moment?

Recently, at the awards ceremony at the Open University for a poster design competition for Key Stage 2 pupils from schools in Milton Keynes.  It was a real pleasure to see the enthusiasm and energy of over 40 children on the theme for the competition – Fight Against Hate.  To see that a campaign goal for our chapter this year, to engage with local children on this theme, was received with great interest from these young Citizens and inspired them to produce creative, thought-provoking pieces of work was a great delight for me.

What’s the impact of membership been on you and your institution? 

Two of the institutions I am heavily involved with are members of Citizens:mk.

For the first – Milton Keynes Muslim Association, Citizens:mk membership has given us a platform to form and maintain relationships and friendships with other local organisation and indeed significant members of the wider city community such as the Mayor and the police.  It is so important to us as a Muslim organisation to maintain strong ties outside our immediate community.  The sustained growth of our community is reliant on good cross-community ties.  We have been able to engage directly in formulating actions to tackle problems faced by our members, such as hate crime, as well as in actively participating in new initiatives to welcome Syrian families to our city.

For my other organisation – Summerfield Primary School, Citizens:mk membership has very quickly and effectively helped us to achieve aspects of our school vision that are very important to us – to raise responsible citizens.  Through the work of our Community Organiser with the school council, and through the Redways Relaunch campaign to improve safety and cleanliness on the Redways (pedestrian and cycle paths), our pupils have improved in effectiveness as leaders and engaged with powerful members of the local community.  Also, the passion for song and art at the school has been extended to embrace Citizens:mk activities through songwriting for big events such as the 50th anniversary of the city of Milton Keynes and the Fight Against Hate campaign.  These have allowed the children to think of life outside the walls of the school.

What are you most looking forward to over the next 12 months?

I will be attending the 6-day training in Durham and what I’m most looking forward to is using what I learn at the training and in the activities after the training to strengthen the effectiveness of my impact within my organisation, which in turn I hope will strengthen the impact of the organisation on the local community.

alliance of diverse community organisations acting together for a thriving, inclusive and fairer Milton Keynes