Yasin and Hanna created Home Girls Unite as an online and offline support group and safe space for first daughters of immigrants to discuss the real experiences of childhood in marginalised communities. It works to help people connect with their multiple identities in a complex world – in the worlds of their parents, their peers, and the worlds young women envisage for themselves.
Hanna is the eldest daughter in a family of seven children, and grew up straddling the worlds of her parents (Somali refugees) and the world of Britishness and British values. Meeting other eldest daughters of immigrants, she realised her experience was not unique, and therefore not as isolating as she once thought. She tweeted an idea for a network of people in her situation, and was inundated with messages from people of different backgrounds looking to be involved.
Yasin was born in Gambia and is an eldest of five. From the age of 11 she started noticing her life was very different from her non-immigrant peers: from cancelling shopping trips with friends to babysitting her two-year-old brother, her eldest daughter role was made very clear from a young age. When the opportunity of leaving home for university presented itself, she knew it was time to “escape”. Yasin is interested in holding more intergenerational conversations within Home Girls and helping parents and grandparents understand that cultural norms can be changed to help everyone feel part of a changing world, rather than left behind by it.
We really want to amplify the voices of the older generations of eldest daughters. Inter-generational conversations are very important for progress. If you know any eldest daughters (grandma, mums, aunties) that would be interested in these conversations, please let us know.— HomeGirlsUnite (@HomeGirlsUnite) January 13, 2021
Home Girls Unite events in London have consistently sold out: they’ve now expanded to Bristol and are looking to extend to other cities too, while building a library of online content accessible to those unable to come to in-person events. Home Girls Unite has an online network of over 3,000 women, and a weekly podcast streamed over 9,000 times so far.
Hanna and Yasin applied to the Multiplier because they wanted to be part of a cohort who understood their love for their community, but also the challenges of juggling full-time roles and an organisation they want to grow.
We are so excited to announce that we’re part of The Multipliers 2021, by @TheCaresFamily & @UnLtd!! A leadership programme to help us maximise impact with HGU. We’ll be supported with a £10,000 grant, coaching, film & an opportunity to connect with other community leaders ✨🎉 pic.twitter.com/CtTgqf1QmC— HomeGirlsUnite (@HomeGirlsUnite) February 8, 2021
The Cares Family brings older and younger people together, so all feel valued, visible and vibrant. Hanna and Yasin’s desire to lift the voices of different generations of first daughters – so all ages feel seen, heard and appreciated secured their place on the programme.