Grounded but not yet settled-telling my refugee story

By Jan.06, 2016

A tale of 2 continents

A tale of 2 continents

From a tiny town in South-west Somalia to numerous African countries, I spent a great deal of my adult life on the move looking for a place to call home. In 2008, I arrived in Birmingham through refugee family reunion and soon joined Dialogue Direct (a fundraising agency) as a community fundraiser, a role I cherish to this day. I spent nearly two years working with Dialogue Direct and held several posts including fundraising supervisor. In the spring of 2010 and after failing to gain further promotion, I left my job and returned to education to pursue a career in social research.

At first, it was all but daunting-I did know much about higher education in the United Kingdom; it was completely a new experience and a new beginning for me but I dreamed of achieving good grades and graduating with good Honours degree.

booksAlthough I am technically a home student, English is not my first language. I found following lectures and engaging with conversations challenging-I felt misplaced and lonely. I needed to catch up and so I spent most of my time in the library familiarising myself with concepts and theories in my subject area. Additionally, I joined the University’s Peer Mentoring Scheme and attended a few essay writing bite-size sessions. Soon, I was on the rise-I became empowered and began to interact with peers and staff more freely and all thanks to a magnificent team at Bolton University whom I remain very close to this day.

2014-My PhD Journey….

hassanIn 2014 and after completing Psychology degree and a PGCE, I was offered a PhD studentship with the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences. I was keen to revisit my previous work experience in international development and voluntarism in low income countries and explore international voluntarism and perceived impacts, bringing the views of Ugandan health workers engaging with UK professional volunteers to the fore. My PhD experience has been fantastic thus far-I acquired an in-depth knowledge in my research area through working with Professor Louise Ackers, my PhD supervisor on a number of projects aimed at improving maternal and newborn health in Uganda with volunteer placements and knowledge exchange schemes. I also acquired lots of research skills through PGR training seminars and became Hourly Paid Lecturer, mainly facilitating SPSS workshops for Criminology undergraduate students.

2016-Mobilising PGR students….

I am delighted to have been offered the role of PGR students’ representative and I plan to use my position to mobilise PGR students and build PGR community with focus on co-learning, co-researching and network building. One of the key areas I would like to explore with PGR students is to resurrect monthly meetings and introduce student led mentoring scheme tapping into PGR students’ knowledge and expertise, mobilising them at an individual and at a group level. Having experienced the effectiveness of student led peer mentoring scheme myself, I hope to draw on my experiences and create conducive environment for all PGR students to exchange ideas and expertise.

Hassan Osman,

Ph.D. student at University of Salford,

School: Nursing, Midwifery, and Social Work & Social Sciences.

Posted in Meet our Students

15 thoughts on “Grounded but not yet settled-telling my refugee story

  1. Cristina says:

    Great blog Hassan. I truly admire your courage and determination to overcome complex life problems and succeed. I am sure you’ll find a place to call it ‘home’. Wish you all the best with your new student rep role 🙂

    1. hassan osman says:

      Many thanks Cristina-I will try to emulate your work and keep the candle burning!

  2. Neil Withnell says:

    Excellent post, thank you for sharing your journey Hassan. I’m sure you will be a great student rep

    1. Hassan says:

      Many thanks….

      We will need your expertise in our PGR community Neil…I will knock at your door at some point!

  3. Tony says:

    A very interesting post Hassan, thanks for sharing – good to read of your positive experience with colleagues at Bolton University – there really are 4 great [er] Manchester universities

    1. Hassan says:

      Positive experience at Salford too Tony. Very enthusiastic, innovative and supportive Postgraduate Research team! Thanks for your endless support for the PGR community

  4. Tracy says:

    Great blog post Hassan: looking forward to mobilising the PGR Community!

  5. Paula Connaughton says:

    A great blog Hassan. I knew you would make it when you first enrolled onto the Access course at Bolton! You’ve come along way since then, and achieved so much in Psychology and now as a researcher. Well done. So Proud.

    1. hassan osman says:

      It all began under your guidance and endless support Paula-many many thanks.

  6. Joe Kiarie says:

    Optimism, courage and sheer determination have always been a hallmark of who you’ve always been since our old good days at DD. Hongera and very proud of you indeed.

    1. hassan osman says:

      Maybe I learned that from you Joe! Many thanks for being a great friend.

  7. MOHAMED SALAH says:

    It’s a wonderful blog Hassan, I knew you more than anyone here knows you, Brother you’re always an extraordinary person who’s courageous make people success in life… I still remember your courageous words “if you can dream it you can do it” you are my Role Model I wish I am allowed to write a concise story about our hard life in the camps we were use to live…
    God bless you. AMEEN

  8. aragsame kuluc says:

    Hassan well done I really admire the long journey how approach where you start the boat a hard working brother like you can make us happy I thank God for what He made easy for you to achieve your amazing God blessed you.

  9. Mohamud says:

    What is next?
    Great and gorgeously done, Hassan!
    I am so happy to read your and devour your blog, brother. I still remember the old days when we used to live in a small, hot, refugee camp in kenya -Dadaab Refugee Camps- I still remember that you were a good example for us.
    Enjoy your new job, you are a good example and a great leader and always will be.

    Thanks to Allah! than, thanks to the great people who did help and hire you!

    ITS TIME TO GIVE BACK AND HELP OTHERS. Especially, those who left behind in Dadaab Refugee Camps.

  10. Aden hassan tarah says:

    great i inspire your hard work
    u are role model


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