LifeLine Projects

Introducing Fatma Mbwana, Little Learners Nursery Manager

We are very pleased to welcome Fatma to the LifeLine team as manager of our Little Learners Nursery and Pre-School in Ilford. Fatma joins a great team who will continue the Little Learners mission: leading the way, learning through play.

We hope you enjoy getting to know Fatma as much as we have in this brief interview.

Fatma was born on Chula, an island in the Bajuni archipelago in southern Somalia, not far from the Kenyan border.

My parents are Bajun. The Bajunis are a mix of many different people including Bantus, Persians, Arabs and Somalis.

When our community was pushed out of Somalia, my family resettled in Kenya. As we were classified as refugees, this gave my family the opportunity to move to the Netherlands, where one of my brothers was born. Sadly, my father didn’t join us on this journey.

Not long after this, we moved to Glasgow and, in time, we ended up in London in temporary accommodation. This gave me an insight into how difficult life is if you keep re-locating.

As a child, I attended so many different schools. Every time I started at a new school, I was so shy that I sat at the back of the class and just listened and observed all the others. Of course, later on I would open up, make friends and chat endlessly with them. I guess this taught me about different characteristics and not judging people or situations too quickly.

Sometimes, I have wished that I had more stability in my life. I’m not alone as it’s affected all members of my family in different ways. I’ve got three brothers and as the eldest there were times where I had to support my mum by translating letters, filling out forms, and taking important phone calls. I was stepping into my father’s role and I had a lot on my shoulders at a very young age. All these experiences made me quite confident; I felt like I could do anything.

My interest in childcare came from being the eldest child. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, but I’d want it to be with kids. I haven’t given up on that dream yet.

My family came to the UK for a better life. It’s taught me to take nothing for granted and to be happy for the freedom and opportunities I have in the UK.

I think LifeLine has been a great support. I love how they support young people with their lives and help people with their careers.

Can you describe your first day at LifeLine?

My first day at Lifeline was overwhelming; there was so much information to take in. It was very nice though.

In your work life, what are you most proud of?

The role I’m in now is great; it will really help me with my future goals.

How would you describe LifeLine and its staff?

Everyone is so supportive—they’re all approachable, and there’s always someone willing to help you.

When you think of the future, what gives you hope?

Having opportunities to grow, and networks of support around me. I feel that my team really supports me now.

What do you think other people should know about LifeLine?

There’s great teamwork throughout. Everyone is here to help and aid our communities and get the best out of them.

What one word would you use to describe you?

Patient—because there is a lot going on in the world that requires patience and putting things behind you.

What one word would your friends use to describe you?

Well, two words—quick learner. Everyone always says I pick things up really easily.

What's the one thing about you few people know?

I’m tough on the outside and soft on the inside.

People are good at judging good or bad. Do you agree?

To an extent, yes. Sometimes people take first impressions as written in stone, but if you get to know someone, you might find out a lot more about them under the surface.

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These articles may contain testimonials by LifeLine staff members and service users of our programmes and/or services. These testimonials reflect the real-life experiences and opinions of such staff members/service users. However, the experiences are personal to those staff members/service users and may not necessarily be representative of all staff members/service users of our programmes and/or services. We do not claim, and you should not assume, that all staff members/service users will have the same experiences. Individual results may vary.

Testimonials are submitted in various forms such as text, audio and/or video, and are reviewed by us before being posted. They appear in the newsletter in words as given by the staff members and service users, except for the correction of grammar or typing errors. Some testimonials may have been shortened for the sake of brevity where the full testimonial contained extraneous information not relevant to the general audience.

The views and opinions contained in the testimonials belong solely to the individual user and do not reflect our views and opinions. Staff members/service users are not paid or otherwise compensated for their testimonials.



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