//‘People were abandoned’: injustices of pandemic laid bare in Brent

‘People were abandoned’: injustices of pandemic laid bare in Brent

At least 36 people have died in Church End, a neighbourhood dealing with housing pressures, in-work poverty and racial inequalities

Rhoda Ibrahim had been excited to celebrate International Women’s Day. The community leader, 57, has spent three decades championing the rights of Somali and minority ethnic women in the north-west London borough of Brent. After going to a council event in the early afternoon – the theme was “Each for Equal” – she headed to the local Queens Park community school. Her organisation, the Somali Advice and Forum of Information, had helped to arrange for a barrister, who had come to the UK as a child refugee and been raised on benefits in the local community, to speak about the many barriers to social mobility in the UK.

Ibrahim was pleased with how the day had gone. Her friend Hassan Farah, a local teacher widely credited for helping four British-Somali students from Brent get into Oxbridge – a first for the community – offered to drive her home. “He was not just a teacher, he was an incredibly kind man, a role model, a mentor and a father figure for children like mine. I have three boys and I couldn’t have raised them without him,” Ibrahim said of Farah. She waved goodbye as his car drove away, not realising it would be the last time she saw him.

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Read more: theguardian.com